PITTSFIELD -- A Lanesborough man that police say prevented an acquaintance from getting out of his car and then beat her after she ran from his house is being held on $25,000 bail bond after a District Court judge determined he was not a dangerous person.

John A. Speziali, 46, of Summer Street, had been held without bail since his arraignment on Monday on eight charges, including kidnapping and multiple counts of assault and battery and attempted unarmed robbery. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

He was held until Friday's hearing before Judge Fredric D. Rutberg to determine whether he could be held for up to 90 more days without bail as a dangerous person.

According to the 24-year-old complaining witness, Speziali picked her up on the evening of June 21 and they went to a Pittsfield bar for drinks followed by a house party. Speziali said he would drive her home but instead headed toward his house in Lanesborough, refused to stop the car and wrested her phone from her, the woman testified on Friday.

Once back at the house she said she ran out when Speziali went to the bathroom but that he chased her down with his car, knocked her to the ground, punched her in the head and dragged her toward his car in an attempt to get her purse. He allegedly fled when a passer by stopped to help the woman.

Speziali alleges that the woman stole money from his home and that they never left his apartment to go to a party.

His roommate testified the defendant and the woman showed up at the house about 10 p.m. Friday and were watching television. He admitted he went to bed and was unaware whether they were in the house early the next morning.

Speziali's attorney, Thomas J. Donohue Jr., said the woman's story was contradicted by that of two other witnesses and that his client was "not a danger to anyone."

Rutberg determined that the Berkshire District Attorney's Office hadn't sustained their burden of proof in the case and set Speziali's bail at $2,500 cash or $25,000 bail bond. The DA's office was asking for $10,000 cash bail.

In court Donohue said his client could make the bail, but as of Friday afternoon Speziali was still being held.

He is due back in court next month but the case may be headed to the grand jury.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
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