Thursday July 5, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- The two men who allegedly pursued one another with knives in a parking lot near the end ofthe city's annual Fourth of July parade are out on personal recognizance after their arraignments today.

Both Jose J. Camacho, 22, who has addresses in Pittsfield and Puerto Rico, and Marvin Ramos, 23, of Pittsfield, appeared in Central Berkshire District Court this morning to face charges related to an incident in which they allegedly drew knives and chased each other around the parking lot of the Family Dollar store on North Street.

The incident took place at about noon Wednesday, police said.

Just before law enforcement arrived, Camacho allegedly pulled a weapon, described by police as "an extremely large kitchen knife," on 45-year-old Michelle Palazzo, the mother of Ramos' girlfriend.

Palazzo reportedly told police there were issues between Ramos and Camacho and that she had approached Camacho concerning those issues.

After pulling the knife on Palazzo, Camacho attempted to run Ramos over with his car and in the process hit a parked sport utility vehicle, according to the police report.

Camacho's 5-year-old son was in his car at the time, witnesses told police.

When Pittsfield Police Officer Matthew Kirchner arrived, the scene was "extremely chaotic," with bystanders fleeing the area in fear, Kirchner said in his report.

Kirchner pulled his pistol on Camacho, who at first refused to comply with the officer's orders, but Camacho eventually put his knife down and was arrested, according to the police report.


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Ramos allegedly fled the scene and was arrested minutes later. No knife was recovered, but witnesses said Ramos had a pocket knife during the altercation.

Today, Camacho pleaded not guilty to three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of disturbing the peace. He is scheduled to return to court on Monday to clarify who will be representing him in the case.

Ramos pleaded not guilty to single counts of disorderly conduct and assault with a dangerous weapon. He is being represented by attorney Alexander Sohn and will be back in court Aug. 23 for a pretrial hearing.

Judge Rita S. Koenigs released both men on personal recognizance.

A third man, Kasey Trumbull, 27, of Pittsfield, was arrested and charged with one count of disorderly conduct after allegedly yelling expletives at the officers as they were dispersing the crowd.

Trumbull was angry that his friend, Tony Babcock, had been handcuffed by police, the police report stated.

The officers initially thought Babcock was involved in the knife incident, but they later determined he had been trying to break it up. Babcock was released without charges.

Trumbull, who is representing himself in court, was arraigned today. He pleaded not guilty to disorderly conduct and was released on personal recognizance pending an Aug. 23 court date.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
aamelinckx@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6249.
On Twitter: @BE_TheAmelinckx