High bail for Pittsfield man charged with punching man, stealing wallet and spitting on police


PITTSFIELD — A city man with a history of missing court appearances was ordered held on $20,000 bail after he allegedly stole $40 from a man in a motorized scooter and spat on a police officer who tried to restrain him.

Jamie M. Spagnuolo, 37, allegedly punched the victim in the face about 9:52 a.m. Friday and stole his wallet, which he had spotted on a fireplace inside an Eagle Street business.

The victim gave chase in his motorized scooter, but lost track of Spagnuolo somewhere around Third Street, according to the police report. Surveillance video from the area showed the incident and the chase.

Spagnuolo was spotted about 12:22 p.m. Friday wearing the same clothes as the aggressor in the surveillance video.

He was ordered to stop by police and arrested at gunpoint after he allegedly made a move toward his pockets before being ordered to the ground.

Spagnuolo allegedly told police he had taken the wallet and used the $40 inside to buy five bags of heroin, which he'd already injected.

He said he threw away the wallet on Second Street — where it was later found — but he denied hitting the victim.

Spagnuolo also was accused of a larceny of $30 from a woman the day before.

He told police he was given the money to purchase drugs, but the dealer wasn't home.

He said he threw the money away and ran when police tried to talk to him about the alleged theft of that cash.

Spagnuolo knew he was positive for hepatitis C when he spit in an arresting officer's face, police said. He also was found with the drawstring of his shorts around his neck while in a cell.

He pleaded not guilty to charges of assault and battery on a person over 60, unarmed robbery from a person over 60, larceny under $250, disorderly conduct and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (spit).

Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Jeffrey Clarke asked Judge Michael Ripps to consider the high bail due to a number of defaults on court appearances and a conviction for escaping from custody on his record.

"He is not likely to appear on his own," Clarke said.

Ripps rejected the suggestion of a $500 bail made by Spagnuolo's attorney, Joseph Colonna, though the bail amount can be appealed in the Superior Court.

Spagnuolo is due back in court on Sept. 13 for a pretrial hearing.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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