Friday July 13, 2012

PITTSFIELD - An ex-con from Pittsfield who served five years in prison for a series of 2005 robberies was arraigned on Friday in connection with Thursday night's robbery of the Dunkin Donuts on Dalton Avenue.

In Central Berkshire District Court, Christopher M. Riddle, 28, of Tyler Street, appeared with his attorney and pleaded not guilty to single counts of unarmed robbery and possession of heroin. He was ordered held by Judge Fredric D. Rutberg on $5,000 cash or $50,000 bond, but was held without bail on a Superior Court matter held the same day.

According to a Pittsfield Police report, Riddle, wearing a bandana over the lower part of his face, robbed the Dunkin Donuts on Dalton Avenue just before 9:30 p.m.

Two employees said he walked in, demanded money and jumped across the counter, forcing the employees to open the registers. One of the employees believed he had a gun, but there was apparently no indication that he did.

There were no customers in the store at the time and no one was hurt in the robbery.

Both employees said they recognized Riddle as the perpetrator based on his voice and build. His girlfriend had recently been fired from the business and both employees were familiar with Riddle, police said.

Riddle was arrested about 90 minutes after the robbery by police and held pending his arraignment Friday. He was allegedly in possession of about $300 worth of heroin.


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Riddle's attorney, Jill Sheldon, told the court her client was cooperative with police and was in the throes of a major drug addiction.

Police say Riddle confessed to the crime.

Riddle was on probation at the time of his arrest stemming from a 2005 conviction for twice robbing a Pittsfield gas station while armed with a bb gun and the attempted robbery of a Chinese restaurant. He served about five years in prison and has been on probation since May 2010.

On Friday a Superior Court probation violation was filed in connection with the new charges.

In Superior Court, Judge John A. Agostini ordered Riddle held without bail until July 30 for a status hearing on the case.

Police say more charges may be coming Riddle's way in connection with the July 10 armed robbery of Kirk's Variety Store, located on Tyler Street.

Sheldon said her client adamantly denies any involvement in that robbery.