Accused Dalton officer may qualify for treatment under veterans program

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PITTSFIELD — A Dalton Police officer accused of two violent assaults this year is undergoing assessment and potential treatment pending a further status hearing in his criminal case.

James A. Scace, 47, faces charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (two counts), domestic assault and battery, strangulation and witness intimidation.

Scace, who has been on administrative leave from the department since Oct. 26, has yet to be formally arraigned on those charges.

Assistant Berkshire District Attorney, Rachael Eramo said Thursday, Scace's veteran status makes him eligible to access the state's Valor Act to determine if he is eligible for diversion to treatment services in lieu of prosecution.

Eramo said she couldn't speculate on what types of treatment options Scace may qualify for.

At some point, a determination will be made how to proceed with the pending criminal charges, Eramo said.

Scace's attorney, Mark T. Brennan said his client served with the Marines in Fallujah, Iraq, and was in charge of the motor vehicle maintenance fleet.

That duty involved examining battle-damaged equipment, some of which still contained remnants of combat-related carnage.

"(Scace) saw a lot of horrible stuff," Brennan said.

Brennan declined to comment directly on his client's case but did say, "If there are any charges, ever, we will certainly vigorously defend against them,"

Scace also is under investigation for another alleged incident on Oct. 24, in which he's accused of assaulting at least one juvenile.

It was during the investigation into those allegations that the earlier ones came to light, according to police.

Scace is due back in court on Jan. 7 for a further status hearing.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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