2 charged in alleged assault of 76-year-old man

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PITTSFIELD — When police responded to an assault report Aug. 3, they found a 76-year-old victim bruised, bloodied and unable to walk.

"If you turn your back on them, they'll kill you," he later told police of the man and woman he said attacked him. "They beat the s--- out of me, because they couldn't find my money."

The woman who allegedly attacked the man, 48-year-old Kelly E. Cronin of Pittsfield, is being held without bail, pending a dangerousness hearing in Central Berkshire District Court.

Officers were dispatched to the Francis Avenue apartment about 9:30 a.m. after the victim's son in-law found him and called police.

Police arrived and described the apartment as being in disarray and smelling of feces and urine.

Officers saw the victim with a "swollen and severely bruised" left eye and had blood on his face, neck and in his hair.

Blood was on the carpet and broken items were strewn about the apartment.

The victim was transported to Berkshire Medical Center. Police said he could neither stand nor walk on his own.

The victim's daughter told police her father had been walking and driving his car without assistance just a few days before the alleged assault.

She told police she believed Cronin and her boyfriend were likely responsible for the victim's injuries, accusing them of assaulting him in the past and taking advantage of him for his disability and Social Security payments.

A neighbor told police they believed the victim had been allowing Cronin into the apartment through its back entrance.

At the hospital, staff cleaned feces and urine from the victim and sent him to have a CT scan taken.

He identified Cronin and a male as the ones who attacked him and said he sometimes let Cronin stay at his apartment.

The victim said Cronin and the man were in his apartment about 10 p.m. He eventually gave police a first name of the male who allegedly assaulted him. When the victim was presented with a photo array, including a picture of the man police believe was described by the victim, he could not identify his attacker.

He said the pair made threats toward him, telling him that the male has "bad friends."

The victim told police the male punched him in the left eye. Both he and Cronin told the victim the man would be back for him.

The victim told police Cronin hit him in the back of the head with a board or other blunt object.

According to the victim, after Cronin struck him, she told him she loved him.

"If you loved me, you wouldn't be whacking me in the back of the head," he replied, before the male kicked him in his buttocks while he was on the floor.

The pair then rolled the victim over and punched him in the face several more times and looked for money in the apartment before both of them left.

The pair apparently left without getting any money, according to the victim. He told police they had threatened him before.

The following morning, the victim heard his son in-law knocking on the door, but hid under a table, not immediately knowing who it was, before eventually unlocking the apartment door.

A report of the alleged assault was also made to Elder Services, according to police.

Cronin was arraigned in Central Berkshire District Court Aug. 4 and entered not guilty pleas to charges of assault and battery on a person over 60 or disabled with serious bodily injury, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on a person over 60 and attempting to commit a crime.

A dangerousness hearing was originally set for Thursday, but was rescheduled to Aug. 31. Cronin will remain in custody until that hearing.

Reach staff writer Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249 or @BobDunn413 on Twitter.


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