PITTSFIELD -- One of two city men who allegedly built a bomb after watching a how-to video on YouTube pleaded to sufficient facts on Friday and had his case continued without a finding of guilt.
Nicholas Perrault and his friend, Anthony Fabino, both 20, attempted to set off a chemical bomb in the parking lot of Ken's Bowl on Dalton Avenue early on the morning of Dec. 29.
Police said the two men admitted they drove to Walmart and got the supplies for the bomb after watching a video on YouTube. The pair placed the device near the Salvation Army building on Dalton Avenue, but when two witnesses came out and began to yell at the pair, they drove to the parking lot of Ken's Bowl, located nearby and dropped the device there and drove off.
A witness told police the bottle began to smoke. It didn't explode, according to a police report. The Pittsfield police officers who responded to the scene called the Massachusetts State Police Fire and Explosion Investigation Hazardous Material Team and the Pittsfield Fire Department. The device was safely disposed of, said police.
Later that morning police tracked down Perrault's vehicle and spoke with him. He allegedly admitted what he did, apologized profusely and said what they had done was "stupid."
Both defendants were summonsed to court for the charges.
In Central Berkshire District Court on Friday, Perrault admitted to facts sufficient for a finding of guilt on a felony charge of possession of an infernal machine.
There was a joint recommendation between the Berkshire District Attorney's DA's Office and Perrault's attorney, Kenneth G. Warren Jr., that asked the court to continue the case without a finding of guilt for a year. Warren told the court his client was "completely apologetic" to the police.
The DA's Office reduced the charge from the crime of throwing, placing or exploding a bomb, which carries a minimum mandatory 15 years in state prison upon conviction.
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Andrew Giarolo chalked up the incident to the "stupidity of youth" but pointed out how serious the charge was.
Judge Fredric D. Rutberg sentenced Perrault in line with the recommendation and told him that "smart people do stupid things too."
Fabino pleaded to facts sufficient on Feb. 4 and received a similar disposition as Perrault. If both men stay out of trouble for a year their charges will be dismissed.
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