Berkshire Eagle Staff
PITTSFIELD -- A city man who allegedly used his dog as a weapon during a robbery is being held without bail after pleading not guilty to muliple charges, including three felonies.
Joshua Desnoyers, 22, of Cloverdale Street, also had his bail revoked in a July 2012 case in which he is accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend and threatening to kill her.
Shortly before 3 p.m. Friday, Desnoyers had the lower part of his face covered by a green bandana when he approached two men in Wahconah Park, police said. He allegedly punched a 22-year-old in the face, sicced his pit bull-type dog on a 30-year-old, kicked him in the ribs after the man fell to the ground and then stole the man’s backpack containing a laptop computer and $33.
When police arrived, Desnoyers fled, with his dog in tow, and dropped the backback, according to court documents. Officer Brett Henault eventually cornered Desnoyers at gunpoint on Turner Avenue while Desnoyer’s dog, which was leashed, stood on its hind legs and tried to lunge at the officer.
Desnoyers, still held at gunpoint, was ordered to place the dog in a animal control truck and was then cuffed, police said.
"I plead the fifth," he allegedly told police when questioned about the robbery.
The 30-year-old man was taken to Berkshire Medical Center, where he was treated for numerous puncture wounds to his right arm and left hand, along with cuts and abrasions to his face. He has since been released from the hospital.
The 22-year-old alleged victim, who police say didn’t appear to have any visible injuries, later sought medical treatment on his own and was released.
The dog is being held at the Eleanor Sonsini Animal Shelter as part of a state mandated 10- day rabies protocol.
The three men were apparently known to each other, based on what the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office said in court.
Desnoyers pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Monday to felony armed robbery while masked, two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (his dog and his shod foot), resisting arrest and assault and battery.
The armed robbery charge alone carries a minimum mandatory 5 years in state prison and a maximum life sentence upon conviction.
Desnoyer’s attorney, John A. Bernardo, said his client would agree to $10,000 bail and GPS monitoring, but Judge Fredric D. Rutberg ordered Desnoyers held without bail on a previous case that remains pending. The DA’s Office made the request to revoke bail citing the violent nature of the incident.
Desnoyers is being held without bail for 60 days. After that time he must come up with $10,000 bail in order to be released pending the outcome of the case.
In the earlier case from July 2012, Desnoyers was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery and witness intimidation. He allegedly forced his ex-girlfriend to the ground, punched her in the stomach, put a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her. That case is currently scheduled for trial in December.
The woman was herself charged in the same incident with assault with a dangerous weapon and other charges for allegedly slashing at Desnoyers crotch with a kitchen knife and punching him in the stomach. In September 2012 she had her case continued without a finding of guilt for a year and was ordered to attend anger management classes.
Desnoyer’s newest case may end up going to the grand jury.
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