PITTSFIELD — A confrontation with police and the Department of Children and Families left a city woman and her three eldest children under arrest and her youngest three in the custody of the state.
Cassie Stapleberg, 38, of Bartlett Avenue, became "upset" and "argumentative" on Friday while speaking with officers and DCF representatives sent to remove three of Stapleberg's children, ages 2, 7 and 11, according to court files. She eventually fled out the back door with the 2-year-old in her arms.
Officers caught up to Stapleberg at the intersection of Bartlett and East Housatonic streets and removed the child from her, according to a police report. She continued to resist police and was taken to the ground and placed into handcuffs.
The 11-year-old child set to be removed by DCF was also taken to the ground and placed into handcuffs by police for "our safety as well as his," while struggling and "flailing around," after attempting to get between officers and Stapleberg, police said.
Stapleberg's other three children, ages 14, 15 and 17, had warrants issued from the Berkshire Juvenile Court for allegedly violating probation conditions.
Police arrested two of those children at the home and arrested the third on South Street soon after.
Stapleberg pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Tuesday to charges of reckless endangerment of a child and disorderly conduct (second offense). The reckless endangerment charge was incurred for allegedly running away from police while barefoot and holding the 2-year-old.
She was released on her own recognizance by Judge Paul Smyth, who set a pretrial hearing in the case for Feb. 23.
Details of the older children's cases are not available due to their juvenile status.