Saturday June 16, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A county jail inmate with alleged gang ties is facing four felonies and two misdemeanors for allegedly spitting on, attempting to bite and threatening corrections officers in May.

On Friday in Central Berkshire District Court, Dakota Moretti, 21, of Pittsfield, already serving six months in jail, admitted he violated his probation by garnering the new charges and was given six more months. The assault and battery charges against the corrections officers could result in even more time behind bars.

According to the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office, Moretti was put in restraints at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Corrections on May 11 for an undisclosed incident and began spitting on one corrections officer, attempted to bite another in the groin several times and told others he would kill them if he saw them on the street.

Moretti is a validated gang member, according to his jail intake records.

There were five other violent occurrences involving the defendant before this in which no charges were filed, Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Joseph Zlatnik told the court on Friday.

Moretti has pleaded not guilty to three counts of assault and battery on a corrections officer and a single count of assault and battery with a bodily fluid on a corrections officer, all felonies, and two counts of misdemeanor threat to commit a crime.

Moretti has been in jail since he pleaded guilty to several charges in March related to the burglary of one neighbor’s house and the attempted break-in of another three days later. In the second case Moretti attempted to break down the apartment door use a fire extinguisher. He was trying to get at the person who had told police Moretti had committed the first break-in, according to the DA’s office.

At the time he pleaded guilty he was given a suspended one-year sentence with six months to be served. On Friday, Judge Fredric D. Rutberg ordered Moretti to serve out the rest of the sentence on the probation violation.

The defendant will be back in July for a pretrial hearing on the new charges. He is represented by attorney Julia G. Allan.

Moretti asked to be transferred out of the Berkshire County Jail, but was denied his request by the judge.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
aamelinckx@berkshireeagle.com,
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