Man charged with gross lewdness after alleged incident in bus station bathroom
PITTSFIELD -- A 52-year-old woman who went to use the ladies room at the city's bus station on Wednesday morning was "very shocked and grossed out" after a naked man began crawling toward her from underneath an adjoining stall, according to police.
"[A]ll of a sudden this naked body started to slide under the partition into my stall," the woman told the Pittsfield Police. "He came so far into the stall that I saw up to his mid-torso ... he was making moaning noises and grunting."
On Wednesday afternoon in Central Berkshire District Court, the man who police say was the perpetrator, Eric Chretien, 42, of Tyler Street, pleaded not guilty to charges of open and gross lewdness and attempted indecent assault and battery. He is being held without bail.
Through his attorney, David Pixley, Chretien denied the charges and said he was simply using the bathroom. Chretien did admit to being drunk, his attorney said.
According to a police report, during the incident, Chretien was touching himself and attempting to touch the woman with his naked body.
The woman told police she attempted to get away from Chretien, believing he was "a sicko," but that it was a small space. She eventually jumped over him, ran out of the stall and asked someone to call the police for her.
When police arrived at the Joseph Scelsi Intermodal Transportation Center on Columbus Avenue, Chretien was still allegedly in the women's bathroom, naked and locked in a stall. He was eventually taken into custody and placed in lockup, where police say he again stripped down and began touching himself.
Pixley said his client suffers from mental health and alcohol abuse issues.
The Berkshire District Attorney's Office said Chretien has prior lewdness and indecent exposure convictions -- among a long list of other crimes -- and has done state prison time.
The prosecution asked the court to set bail at $5,000 cash, and Chretien's right to bail be revoked on an unrelated case that is scheduled for trial in July.
In that case, Chretien allegedly threatened to kill a stranger, was observed yelling, screaming and weaving in and out of traffic, and was combative with a police officer.
He has pleaded not guilty to assault and battery on a police officer, disorderly conduct and threat to commit murder.
District Court Judge Fredric D. Rutberg revoked Chretien's right to bail on that case.
He can be held for up to 60 days without bail. After that, he must post $500 bail in order to be released. Chretien is expected back in court March 5.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.