Tuesday July 31, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- The man accused of robbing a Dunkin' Donuts earlier this month continues to be held without bail following a probation violation hearing on Monday.

Christopher M. Riddle, 28, of Tyler Street, is facing unarmed robbery and heroin possession charges for allegedly holding up the Dunkin' Donuts on Dalton Avenue on July 12. He has pleaded not guilty.

Riddle also is on probation for his 2005 conviction related to two armed robberies and an attempted armed robbery for which he served about five years in prison. At the time of his conviction, he told the court he had committed the crimes to pay off a local cocaine dealer he owed money to, according to Eagle archives. He was put on three years of probation in May 2010 after his release from prison.

The new charges triggered the probation violation hearing on Monday. He has been held without bail since July 13.

On Monday, he appeared in Berkshire Superior Court before Judge John Agostini for a status and bail hearing, but continues to be held without bail by the agreement of the probation department and Riddle's attorney Jill Sheldon. Another hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 9.

Probation Officer Lisa A. Denault said she believed Riddle would be arraigned in Superior Court on the unarmed robbery and drug possession charges in a few weeks.

As of now, the charges remain in Central District Court.

According to a Pittsfield Police report, Riddle, wearing a bandana over the lower part of his face, robbed the Dunkin' Donuts on Dalton Avenue just before 9:30 p.m. on July 12.

Two employees told police they recognized Riddle as the boyfriend of a former employee.

No customers were in the store at the time of robbery and no one was hurt, police said.

Riddle was arrested about 90 minutes after the robbery with $300 in heroin, several scratch lottery tickets and $131 in cash, according to a police report.

Police say Riddle confessed to the crime.

Riddle is also a suspect in the July 10 armed robbery of Kirk's Variety Store on Tyler Street, according to police. As of Monday, he has not been charged with any crimes related to that robbery.