PITTSFIELD -- A Pittsfield man is facing felony charges for allegedly attacking a physically disabled man -- and a dog -- with his own cane.

Carlo Laude, 53, is accused of attacking the man after a dispute that began about 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Lipton Mart on South Street, according to Pittsfield Police.

Inside the store, Laude got into a dispute with a 26-year-old Housatonic man, pushing and threatening to kill him, according to a witness. The younger man pushed him back before the two were told by the cashier to "take it outside."

Once outside, Laude allegedly spit on the man's back. The younger man admitted to police he retaliated by spitting on the window of Laude's Cadillac.

Laude then opened the door of the man's car and punched another 26-year-old in the face. The second man told police he was "permanently disabled" after having had a stroke and was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. He uses a cane for mobility.

"Are you going to hit a handicapped man?!" he yelled at Laude while attempting to push him back with his cane, according to the report. He told police he didn't know the defendant.

A bystander said she saw Laude take the man's cane and begin hitting him and a dog that was also in the car.

The two alleged victims did not mention this during their police interviews.

The man who was punched in the face suffered minor injuries and the other man was unharmed, as was the dog.

Laude then got back into his car and nearly struck the first man as he drove off, according to police.

Police said there was a history between Laude and the man he pushed inside the convenience store.

The defendant allegedly told the cashier, "You don't know what he's done to my family."

Laude was arrested Tuesday when he appeared at the Pittsfield police station.

"They're all false charges," Laude told Judge Paul M. Vrabel during his arraignment on Tuesday in Central Berkshire District Court.

He pleaded not guilty to felony assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a disabled person, assault with a dangerous weapon and breaking and entering in the daytime for a felony and misdemeanor animal cruelty, threat to commit a crime and assault and battery.

The judge released him on personal recognizance with the condition he stay away from the complaining witnesses. The Berkshire District Attorney's Office didn't ask for bail in the case.

Laude, who is represented by attorney Marc C. Vincelette Sr, is due back in court May 6.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:

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