PITTSFIELD -- Two South County men who said they were bored when they broke into the Berkshire County Softball Complex were ordered by a judge on Tuesday to pay restitution and perform community service at the field.
Joseph Errichetto, 26, of Lee, and Cody Martin, 25, of Great Barrington, kicked open a door at a storage building at the complex on East Street on the afternoon of April 18, stole boxes of softballs and then drove a car through the gate, according to Pittsfield Police.
A witness told police he saw two men taking items from a building in the complex and putting them into a car. When he confronted them, they tried to cover their faces with their hands and then got into the car and sped away. The man later identified the defendants as being the two people he saw.
Another witness said he saw a gray Mazda crash through the closed gate at the complex, dump some items into the woods and then take off down East Street toward Dalton. Police said they found a box of softballs nearby.
Becket Police stopped the car, which was heavily damaged from crashing through the gate, a short time later. The two men admitted entering the building and stealing the balls, according to police.
In Central Berkshire District Court on Tuesday, Errichetto and Martin appeared with their attorneys and pleaded guilty to facts sufficient for a finding of guilt on two counts each of wanton destruction of property and breaking and entering in the daytime for a misdemeanor and single counts each of larceny under $250.
They were originally charged with harsher crimes, but the Berkshire District Attorney's Office agreed to reduce many of the charges.
Errichetto's attorney, Mary F. Courtney, blamed her client's behavior on boredom and poor decision making. She said Errichetto had played softball at the complex before and that they intended to throw some balls around while there. She said her client became frightened and accidentally drove through the gate.
Martin's attorney, Peter C. Alessio, went further and said it was boredom and a "heavy dose of stupidity" at the heart of his client's actions.
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Jason Lederman said neither defendant had a record, which was the main reason they agreed to reduce charges and continuations without a finding for one year. If they stay out of trouble during that time their charges will be dismissed.
Judge Fredric D. Rutberg sentenced the defendants in line with the joint recommendation. He ordered that they perform their 20 hours of community service at the softball complex.
The defendants agreed to pay an undetermined amount of restitution.