DALTON -- A local homeless man is no longer a suspect in Saturday's attempted armed robbery and alleged attack of the night clerk at the Shamrock Village Inn, Dalton police said Sunday.

Sean W. Gelinas, 25, was misidentified as the man who pistol whipped the female clerk with a handgun after demanding cash from the inn employee, according to Sgt. Richard Nicholas.

"We confirmed [Gelinas] wasn't in the area and hasn't been in town since Dec. 5," Nicholas said.

"In our job of investigating crime, it's just as important to clear an innocent man as it is to identify a suspect," he said. "Mr. Gelinas is an innocent man."

Police had issued a countrywide alert for the Dalton native Saturday night, which has since been lifted.

Shortly after 6 p.m. Saturday, the man entered the office of the inn at 633 Main St. and demanded cash from the clerk. When she informed him that she does not have access to the safe, the man allegedly struck her with his gun and left the scene, heading west on foot.

The clerk was taken to Berkshire Medical Center, where she was treated for an injury to her right cheek and released, Nicholas said.

The would-be thief is described as being 5 foot, 9 inches and 165 pounds, last seen wearing a black, hooded sweatshirt over a brown shirt and blue jeans. He was also wearing black gloves and sneakers.

Police are investigating leads into the suspect, whom they say could be armed with a semi-automatic pistol and is considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information about the attempted robbery is ask to contact the Dalton Police Department at (413) 684-0300.

To reach Dick Lindsay:
rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6233.