Tuesday December 11, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A husband and wife, who were allegedly involved in a purse-snatching at a grocery store parking lot, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday in Berkshire Superior Court to unarmed robbery charges and remain free pending further court proceedings.

Police and prosecutors say Jeanne K. Kuklewicz, 32, and Joseph A. Baker, 30, formerly of Pittsfield, were involved in a purse-snatching on Aug. 11 in the parking lot of Price Chopper on Hubbard Avenue in Pittsfield.

"She basically tackled the victim and took her purse," First Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Paul C. Caccaviello told the court on Tuesday. "This is a serious case."

Kuklewicz allegedly jumped out of a car, grabbed a woman's purse and knocked her to the ground. Baker then jumped out of the car, grabbed his wife and took off in the car, dropping the purse in the process, said police.

The victim, a 22-year-old Savoy woman, suffered scrapes to her knee and hand during the incident.

According to the Pittsfield Police, Kuklewicz said she accidentally bumped into the woman. Her husband allegedly told police he and his wife were heroin addicts and had been driving around the parking lot "trying to get money" just before Kuklewicz attempted to snatch the purse.

Kuklewicz is also facing assault and battery on a police officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Pittsfield Police said that when they tracked Kuklewicz down the day after, she began screaming, cursing and striking an officer. She had to be subdued with pepper spray in order to be placed in custody, according to a police report.

On Tuesday, Judge Daniel A. Ford released Kuklewicz on $500 cash bail.

Baker, represented by attorney Glenn W. Keiderling Jr., remains free on personal recognizance.

According to Kuklewicz's attorney, Thomas J. Donohue Jr., the couple has since moved to Gloucester.

Both defendants are expected to be back in court for a pretrial conference in April.