PITTSFIELD -- A New York man charged with several weapons violations for allegedly possessing a loaded .357 Magnum pistol with a filed off serial number is being held on $100,000 surety bail.
Lameek Thomas, 23, of Queens, N.Y., who has a lengthy out-of-state criminal record according to prosecutors, pleaded not guilty to four gun charges, including possessing a firearm without a firearm identification card and defacing a firearm's serial number.
Members of the Pittsfield Police responded to a reported fight on First and Orchard streets Tuesday evening, just after 8 p.m., and allegedly learned that Thomas had been involved.
The police later trailed Thomas to Plinn Street. Thomas, who was a passenger in the car police were following, ran from the vehicle into a stand of trees where officers later discovered a black bag containing a loaded Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum handgun and men's clothing, according to a police report. Thomas was arrested and held in jail over the holiday.
On Thursday in court, Thomas, in handcuffs, smiled and laughed during his arraignment, prompting Judge Rita S. Koenigs to reprimand him.
"There is nothing particularly amusing about court or with the information I'm beginning to hear about this case," the judge told Thomas.
Berkshire Assistant District Attorney Dana Parsons asked for $10,000 cash or $100,000 surety bail, telling the judge Thomas had a long criminal history, including prior gun and drug charges in New York as well as drug charges in Virginia.
Thomas' attorney, Joseph Colonna, told the judge his client was originally from New York and had been recently staying in Pittsfield. Thomas denied being involved in any fight, Colonna said.
The defense attorney also pointed out that many of the charges on Thomas' record were misdemeanors and that the drug charges in Virginia had been dismissed. He asked for between $500 and $1,000 bail.
Koenigs went with Parson's request and remanded the defendant to jail in lieu of $10,000 cash or $100,000 surety bail.
Thomas shouted something unintelligible after being escorted out of court.
Police said the gun is being examined for DNA evidence.