PITTSFIELD -- What police initially believed was a kidnapping on Sunday ended with a Washington man being arrested on charges of third offense drunken driving and child endangerment.
Donald Richmond, 43, was stopped in Otis by state police following up on a tip that a woman and her child may have been taken against their will from a Savoy campground.
Richmond, whose Dodge Ram truck matched the description of the suspect’s vehicle, was pulled over after he was observed swerving. His friend’s 6-year-old daughter was secured in a seat only by a lap belt, police said, and the child’s 28-year-old mother was also in the vehicle.
Richmond smelled like alcohol, had empty beer cans in his truck and failed field sobriety tests, police said.
He was charged with third-offense drunken driving, driving with a suspended license, child endangerment while driving drunk and a marked lanes violation.
Richmond allegedly told the police he was just trying to help a friend out.
He pleaded not guilty on Tuesday in Central Berkshire District Court before Judge Fredric D. Rutberg.
The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office asked that Richmond be held on $2,500 cash bail; Richmond’s attorney, Thomas C. Doyle, asked that his client be released on $100 bail.
He was ordered held on $500 cash or surety bail and is due back in Southern Berkshire District Court on Thursday.
The police report does not indicate when Richmond’s previous drunken driving convictions occurred.
Police filed a report with the state Department of Children and Families against the woman for allegedly allowing the child to be driven by Richmond while he was intoxicated.
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