PITTSFIELD -- A personal care attendant who allegedly attacked the 49-year-old man he was supposed to be caring for is being held on $500 cash bail.

Pittsfield Police say that just before 2 a.m. Monday, Matthew Bouchard, 28, of Pittsfield, came home drunk to the Linden Street apartment he shares with the man for whom he cares and woke him for a cigarette. When Bouchard was told he wasn't supposed to stay there if he was drunk, Bouchard jumped on the man and began punching him in the head, according to a police report.

The man pushed Bouchard out of his bedroom and called police, but was attacked again when the defendant kicked the door open, police said.

The man said he put Bouchard in a bear hug and dragged him into to the kitchen. When police showed up, the men were "wrestling around" in the kitchen and someone was calling for help. The room was "completely disheveled" with the table flipped over, the refrigerator moved, and broken dishes and other items strewn across the floor, said police.

On Monday in Central Berkshire District Court, Bouchard's lawyer, Marc C. Vincelette Sr., told the court it was the 49-year-old who began arguing with his client after Bouchard returned from walking the dog.

Vincelette pointed out some scrapes and cuts Bouchard had on his face. The attorney additionally questioned the man's story about picking Bouchard up and carrying him to another room, since the man suffers from a severe back problem. He said the police report didn't indicate there was any damage to the bedroom door or door frame, which would be expected if Bouchard had actually kicked in the man's door.

"That supports my client's version of events," Vincelette told the court.

Bouchard pleaded not guilty to a single count of misdemeanor assault and battery.

Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Kelly M. Kemp asked that $5,000 bail be placed on the case, citing the nature of the incident and Bouchard's criminal record. Bouchard was released from jail less than a year ago after serving time for beating a man with a table leg and other charges, according to court records.

Judge Fredric D. Rutberg ordered Bouchard held at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction on $500 cash or $5,000 surety bail. He is due back in court on Aug. 6.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
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