PITTSFIELD -- A local attorney pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to misdemeanor assault and battery charges following an alleged domestic incident involving a roommate.
On Tuesday, Rinaldo Del Gallo III, 50, appeared in Central Berkshire District Court and pleaded not guilty to a single count of misdemeanor assault and battery for allegedly punching Jayross Sommerkamp, 26, during an altercation.
The argument allegedly began when Sommerkamp moved some of Del Gallo's belongings without permission. But according to Del Gallo, this incident was just the latest ploy by Sommerkamp and his girlfriend to get him to move out.
Pittsfield Police responded to the residence on Elizabeth Street just before 4:30 Monday afternoon for a reported domestic disturbance. Both men were waiting for police outside.
Del Gallo told police that Sommerkamp started the fight by pushing him and kicking him in the crotch. Del Gallo allegedly admitted to punching Sommerkamp and briefly holding him down, but said it was an act of self-defense.
Sommerkamp suffered a minor wound, said police. He denied kicking or pushing or hitting Del Gallo.
According to the report, Sommerkamp called police after the incident, but Del Gallo later told The Eagle he also called police after the altercation.
On Tuesday, Del Gallo appeared before Judge Paul M. Vrabel who released him on personal recognizance and ordered him to refrain from abusing Sommerkamp.
The home's tenants have apparently had problems with one another for several months. There is currently an eviction case on appeal against Del Gallo in Housing Court.
Del Gallo said Sommerkamp has pushed him before and has been verbally abusive toward him for the last several months.
As of Tuesday, Som merkamp has a three-month long restraining order on Del Gallo. Sommerkamp's girlfriend, Kim Wixom, applied for but was denied a restraining order against Del Gallo.
Del Gallo is scheduled to be back in court Nov. 27. Del Gallo said he plans on filing a criminal complaint against Sommerkamp.