Inmate's stay extended

Wednesday July 18, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A county jail inmate pleaded guilty on Tuesday in Central Berkshire District Court to assaulting several corrections officers and was sentenced to an additional 18 months in jail.

Dakota Moretti, 21, of Pittsfield, pleaded guilty to three counts of assault on a corrections officer, a single count of assault with a bodily fluid on a corrections officer and two counts of making a threat to commit a crime.

According to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, during an incident in May at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Corrections, Moretti spat on one corrections officer, attempted to bite another in the groin, and told others he would kill them if he saw them on the street.

Moretti is a validated gang member, according to his jail intake records.

Moretti's attorney, Marc C. Vincelette, told the court that the incident began when his client was joking around with a corrections officer. The officer, he said, construed Moretti's actions as hostile and handcuffed him. While being taken to his cell, the officers dropped Moretti, said the attorney, cutting Moretti's mouth and "things just escalated from there."

Moretti denied trying to bite the officer, but admitted to the assault charges.

"He's learned his lesson," Vincelette told the court. "There's been no more difficulties since then."

Judge Paul M. Vrabel ordered Moretti to serve 18 months at the end of his current sentence for the burglary of one neighbor's house and the attempted break-in of another three days later.

In the second case, Moretti attempted to break down the apartment door using a fire extinguisher in an attempt to get at the person he believed had told police about the first crime, according to the DA's office.

In March, Moretti was sentenced to six months in jail with a six-month suspended sentence, but in June was ordered by another District Court judge to serve the rest of the original sentence for violating his probation.

Moretti is now looking at about two more years behind bars.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:,
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