Fifth suspect charged in kidnapping and assault case in Lee, Pittsfield


PITTSFIELD — A fifth defendant was charged on Friday in an alleged kidnapping and assault incident last month.

Matthew Rivera, 22, of Lee, is accused of taking part in the incident in which two men were allegedly assaulted and robbed by a group of armed men.

Rivera is accused of being present at a "staging location," and participated in planning and "setting up," the two victims and took steps to establish alibis and destroy potential evidence of plan and the conspiracy.

Police said the investigation is ongoing and other yet unnamed participants may be involved.

Emanuel "Manny" Diaz, 23, Dashaan Golden, 22, both of Lee, and Kamara Pellot, 24, of Pittsfield, were arrested in their respective communities Thursday by state and local police.

The two victims were lured to a remote area in Lee near October Mountain State Forest on the night of Jan. 26 for a marijuana sale, according to court documents.

One of the victims struggled with one of the defendants and a gun went off, but no one was hit. That man fled to a home on Woodland Road, where he called 911.

The second victim was forced into his vehicle at gunpoint and taken to Pellot's apartment building, where he was "tortured in the basement of the residence by several masked males," the report said.

According to a probable cause statement in the case, the armed group of men also stole a "large quantity," of marijuana along with the car.

It remains unclear how the proposed marijuana sale was arranged and who was selling to whom.

Pittsfield police were later called to Pellot's home for a report of a male in distress. Pellot allegedly redirected officers to a nearby location to conceal the man's, "ongoing torture and captivity inside of her residence," the report said.

Both victims required medical treatment, according to police.

Rivera pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, assault with a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

His bail was set at $200 by agreement, in contrast to three of his co-defendants, who were arraigned Thursday and ordered held without bail pending dangerousness hearings Tuesday.

Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Dana Parsons could not comment on the disparity in bail.

A fifth defendant in the case, Jay P. Strezynski, 25, was arraigned on several charges in late January and held on $10,000 bail.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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