Tuesday September 11, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A man who allegedly threatened to kill immigrant workers at a local pizzeria last weekend told police he was highly intoxicated and doesn’t remember the incident.

Aaron Shaw, 19, of Atlantic Avenue, pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Monday to several charges relating to the incident. But his attorney said his client regrets his actions and is likely to take a plea in the case.

Shaw allegedly smashed the window of the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts in the Elm Street Shops about 10:20 p.m. Saturday, then walked into the adjacent Paparazzi Friendly Pizza and threatened the three Turkish immigrants who were working there, according to a Pittsfield Police report.

Shaw yelled: "I’m American, I’ll kill you. You are an immigrant, I want to cut your eyes [out]," making a slashing motion under his throat and waving a knife. "My father was a Marine."

He was arrested at gunpoint by the Pittsfield Police as he left the pizzeria.

On Monday, with his hands bandaged from wounds he received during the incident, Shaw stood behind the glass partition separating defendants under custody from the rest of the courtroom while his attorney asked for bail for his client.

Attorney Joshua C. Hochberg said his client was still coping with the death of his parents a year ago and that while he had been sober for several months, Shaw drank that night.


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"He was very cooperative with police after he was taken into custody," the attorney told the court. He requested that Shaw be released on $250 bail.

The Berkshire District Att orney’s Office said Shaw had a record of assaultive behavior.

Shaw pleaded not guilty to three counts each of civil rights violations and armed assault with intent to intimidate and vandalism, but Hochberg told the court Shaw would be looking to dispose of the case, meaning a trial isn’t likely.

Judge Fredric D. Rutberg, citing the nature of the alleged attack, ordered Shaw held at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction on $2,500 cash or $25,000 bond.

He is scheduled to be back in court in October.

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