PITTSFIELD -- A city resident who police said struck a physically disabled man -- and a dog -- with his own cane has been given a six-month suspended jail sentence and a year of probation.
Carlo Laude, 53, got into a scuffle with a now 27-year-old man inside the Lipton Mart on South Street about 1:30 p.m. on March 7, according to Pittsfield Police. He threatened to kill the man, and then once outside spit on his back.
The other man retaliated by spitting on the window of Laude's Cadillac, police said.
Laude then opened the door of the man's car and punched a 26-year-old in the face. The second man, who later told police he didn't know Laude, said he was "permanently disabled" and uses a cane for mobility.
The man shouted, "Are you going to hit a handicapped man?!" as he attempted to push Laude back with his cane, according to the report.
A bystander told police she saw Laude take the man's cane and begin hitting him and a dog that was also in the car.
When Laude drove off he nearly struck the first man with his car, according to police.
Police said the man who was punched in the face suffered minor injuries and the other man and the dog were unharmed.
According to police, there was a history between Laude and the man he pushed inside the convenience store.
In Central Berkshire District Court on Tuesday, Laude's attorney, Marc C. Vincelette Sr., said the 27-year-old had been harassing his client's family for months prior to the confrontation.
Vincelette asked that Laude receive continuations without a finding of guilt on five charges and a year of probation and anger management on two other misdemeanor charges.
The Berkshire District Attorney's Office was asking for 18-months in jail, with six months to be served and the rest suspended for two years, and anger management.
During the plea, Laude initially denied the prosecution's version of events, but later agreed for the purposes of the plea.
He pleaded to facts sufficient for a finding of guilt on single counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a disabled person, animal cruelty, breaking and entering into a motor vehicle in the daytime and assault with a dangerous weapon and had the charges continued without a finding of guilt for one year. If he stays out of trouble in that time the charges will be dismissed.
Laude pleaded guilty to single counts of misdemeanor threat to commit murder and assault and battery.
Judge Fredric D. Rutberg gave him a six-month suspended jail sentence and a year of probation on these two charges. During probation Laude must stay away and have no contact with the victims.
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