PITTSFIELD -- Two women who police say crashed a stolen car into several other vehicles after being spotted by police have pleaded not guilty felony charges.
Chastity Smith, 18, of Elizabeth Street, and Charece Y. Moss, 25, of John Street, were heading south on Dewey Avenue in a stolen Honda Accord about 1 p.m. Thursday, when they were spotted by Officer Eliezer Garcia, according to Pittsfield Police. When Garcia began to pursue the vehicle, the driver sped up in an attempt to lose the officer and lost control, crashing into three parked vehicles at the corner of Southern Street and Dewey Avenue, according to a probable cause report.
Moss was found on the ground near the driver’s side door, bleeding from the bridge of her nose and complaining about her head hurting. She was transported by ambulance to Berkshire Medical Center for treatment and was later released and taken to the police station for booking.
Smith fled the scene, according to police, who recovered her hat and cell phone and eventually found her hiding behind a couch on an enclosed porch near the accident scene. After her arrest she allegedly told police she had been picked up by Moss earlier and didn’t know the car was stolen.
On Friday in Central Berkshire District Court, attorney Marc C. Vincelette Sr., who represents Moss, said his client wasn’t driving and that Smith was behind the wheel. He said Smith fled after crashing the car and that his client, who had been injured when her airbag deployed, couldn’t get out of the passenger side of the car so she exited through the driver’s side before collapsing near the car where police found her.
Smith’s attorney, Thomas C. Doyle, told the court Smith was the passenger. He said the prosecution’s case was weak and they couldn’t prove Smith knew the car had been stolen. According to Doyle, his client had no criminal record and was gainfully employed.
Smith pleaded not guilty to a single count of felony receiving a stolen motor vehicle. She was released by Judge Fredric D. Rutberg on $100 bail.
Moss pleaded not guilty to single counts of receiving a stolen motor vehicle, reckless operation and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. She was also arraigned on a vandalism charge for allegedly smashing a woman’s window in November after she and several other people followed the woman to her Second Street home after an argument at Chameleons nightclub on East Street.
Her attorney said there were between seven and eight people there and there was no proof his client had been the one who damaged the window.
Moss was held on $1,000 bail by the judge and remanded to the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction. He cited her record of failing to show up for court in previous cases as one of his reasons for the bail.
Moss is due back in court on Jan. 21. Smith is due back on Jan. 31.
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