Dalton Police Officer James Scace charged with assaulting four teens while off-duty

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Photo Gallery | Dalton Police Officer James Scace arraigned on assault charge

PITTSFIELD — A Dalton police officer is facing multiple charges for allegedly assaulting a group of teenagers while off-duty last fall.

James A. Scace, 47, is accused of attacking four of the teens — seven were present, ages 14 to 17 — during the altercation on Brindle Road on Oct. 24.

He was placed on administrative leave on Oct. 26, according to Dalton Police Chief Jeffrey E. Coe. The issue of Scace's employment with the department will be taken up by the town at some point in the future, Coe said.

Scace was hired as a reserve officer on July 25, 2001, and was appointed as a full-time officer on June 13, 2005.

During the investigation into the October incident, new allegations came to light that Scace had assaulted a woman in July. That case, which is pending in Central Berkshire District Court, includes allegations that Scace attacked the woman and held a pistol to her head.

Scace allegedly throttled the woman, destroyed her phone, kicked her in the ribs and held a pistol to her head.

According to the probable cause statement, the investigation, "revealed a pattern of assaultive behavior (by Scace) while consuming alcohol."

Scace made several appearances in Central Berkshire District Court in the case, but his veteran status made him eligible to access the state's Valor Act to determine if he was eligible for diversion to treatment in lieu of prosecution.

Prosecutors are not bound by whatever recommendations may have been made as a result of the Valor Act evaluation. He has not yet been charged in that incident.

Scace pleaded not guilty in Berkshire Superior Court on Thursday to two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, four counts of assault and battery, one count of intimidating a witness and one count of disturbing the peace.

He was released on personal recognizance by Berkshire Superior Court Judge John A. Agostini after he agreed to have no contact with the juveniles who were either victims of or witnesses to the incident.

He is due back in court on June 2 for a pretrial hearing.

Contact Adam Shanks at 413-496-6376.


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