Wednesday June 20, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A 23-year-old man accused of the armed robbery of a pizza delivery driver has denied any role and says his accuser is out to get him.

On Tuesday in Central Berkshire District Court, Patrick W. Warger, 23, of Pittsfield pleaded not guilty to a single count of armed robbery in connection with an alleged hold-up on Kensington Avenue at about 8 p.m. Monday. Patrick Wolf, a delivery driver for Papa Gino's Pizza Restaurant, was allegedly robbed at gunpoint.

According to a police report, after Wolf delivered a pizza to a Kensington Avenue home, he was approached by a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt who pulled out a small pistol and demanded Wolf give him his money. Wolf told police he handed over $35 before the man ran off.

When police interviewed Wolf, he "appeared very nervous and startled" and was "shaking slightly," as if he was "obviously involved in some type of irregular or traumatic event very recently."

At the time, Wolf said he was about "98.7 percent sure" Warger was the assailant. He later identified Warger in a lineup, but said he was wearing different shoes and a hooded sweatshirt.

Wolf admitted knowing Warger and said they were acquainted through a mutual friend.

Warger's attorney, Jill Sheldon, said that a few weeks before this incident, Wolf had texted her client with the message, "You're dead."

She said Wolf had a "personal beef" with Warger and that the robbery was faked.

Two friends of Warger, Ian Hunt and Kalen R. Cote, told police that Warger was with them when the crime was alleged to have been committed. They said they picked him up at his house at about 7:30 p.m., drove out to Onota Lake, and dropped him off at home about an hour later.

According to Sheldon, no gun was recovered and her client doesn't own the clothing described by Wolf.

On Tuesday, Warger was released on personal recognizance by Judge Fredric D. Rutberg and will be back in court on July 18. The Berkshire District Attorney's Office requested $5,000 bail.

The case will likely be headed to Superior Court.