PITTSFIELD -- A Pittsfield man is being held without bail after denying that he robbed a taxi driver at gunpoint on Sunday.
Damarcus Swazy, 18, was arrested early Sunday morning after police tracked his footprints in the snow from the scene of the alleged crime, according to police.
The taxi driver told police that he picked up two men on Second Street early Sunday morning. When they reached Hamlin Street a short distance later, the front seat passenger, who was wearing a facemask, allegedly placed a gun to the head of the driver and demanded money. After taking approximately $250, the alleged robber and the back seat passenger ran off behind Second Street, the driver told police.
With assistance from the Berkshire County Sheriff's Office K-9 unit, police tracked footprints in the snow that led to a chain link fence, which Swazy allegedly jumped, leaving a glove in.
Swazy was located a short time later at a Second Street residence. Police said they found a facemask and head cover and $200 in the apartment, as well as a pair of red sweatpants that matched the ones the driver told police his assailant was wearing.
Swazy allegedly confessed to the crime, police said.
According to the complaint, a plastic pellet gun, which police believe was used in the robbery, was found in a nearby dumpster.
Swazy pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Tuesday to charges of armed and masked robbery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. He was remanded to Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction by Judge Fredric Rutberg without bail pending a Feb. 24 dangerousness hearing.
Police are still looking for the other passenger, who was in the back seat of the taxi. He is described as 5 feet, 7 inches tall and wearing dark clothing.
Anybody with information regarding the incident or who may have witnessed the suspect fleeing the taxi on Sunday morning are asked to call the Pittsfield police detective line at (413) 448-9705.
To reach Nathan Mayberg:
or (413) 496-6243