Man allegedly beat, held woman captive for days in Pittsfield apartment


PITTSFIELD — A city man is facing kidnapping and assault charges for allegedly holding a woman against her will for three days in her apartment, subjecting her to mental and physical abuse and threatening to kill her with a knife.

Richard Carnute, 54, "bashed me up good," the woman told police after managing to escape early Wednesday. "He is going to kill me one of these days."

The woman told police Carnute had recently started calling her "non-stop" from a variety of phone numbers and saying "awful, vulgar, disgusting, nasty things," to her.

Shortly after 3 p.m. Sunday, she said, Carnute arrived at her home, forced her up the stairs and into the apartment, and began hitting her, according to a statement given to police.

Carnute allegedly disabled the woman's landline and took her cellphone.

She told police Carnute slapped her, pulled her hair and held a knife up to her face, put his hands around her neck and throttled her and threatened to kill her.

Carnute told her after she was dead and the police found him with the knife in his hand, he would have the police shoot him.

Any time she attempted to leave, Carnute would run over and lock the door, the woman said.

"He followed me everywhere I went in the apartment." she told police. "The rage in his face was scary."

At one point, Carnute made her cook dinner for him at 3 a.m.

"I knew if I didn't, he'd beat me some more," she said.

Police noted bruising on the woman's arms and neck.

There were "many times" throughout the ordeal when Carnute was high on crack and heroin, she told police.

On Wednesday morning, Carnute apparently cut his hand after sweeping items belonging to the woman off her dresser.

While he was cleaning the wound in the bathroom, the woman ran from her apartment to a friend's Second Street home and contacted police.

Officers responded to her apartment, where they arrested Carnute and transported him to Berkshire Medical Center to treat his wounds before booking him.

Police found blood on both the bathroom and bedroom floors.

Carnute pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Wednesday to charges of assault and battery, assault with a dangerous weapon (knife), strangulation, intimidation of a witness, kidnapping and violating a restraining order.

The woman had a no-abuse order against Carnute, according to police.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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