Man in ICU after Pittsfield stabbing; suspect held on $50,000 bail


PITTSFIELD -- A man remained in intensive care after being stabbed seven times late Wednesday, allegedly by an acquaintance who told him he "hoped he bleeds out," authorities said.

The suspect, Tony "Chris" Babcock, of Second Street in Pittsfield, was being held on $50,000 cash bail Thursday after pleading not guilty in the assault.

Babcock and another unidentified suspect allegedly intervened in an argument between the victim and the victim's ex-girlfriend shortly before midnight, according to assistant Berkshire District Attorney Kelly M. Kemp.

The victim reportedly ran from the pair, but they caught up to him -- and Babcock stabbed him multiple times -- when the fence he was trying to scale collapsed, police said.

The victim called a friend, who drove him to Berkshire Medical Center. He underwent emergency surgery for life-threatening wounds, including a pierced lung, and remains in intensive care.

Babcock was arrested Thursday morning at his home. The second suspect remained at large as of Thursday evening.

PHOTO GALLERY | Tony Babcock's arraignment

Babcock, appearing distressed, pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Thursday to charges of armed assault to murder and aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. The first charge carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison upon conviction. The second carries a 15-year maximum sentence.

Babcock's attorney, Joseph P. Colonna, said his client admits to having an argument with the complaining witness earlier in the day, but denies stabbing the man. The attorney said Babcock has an alibi and "no record to speak of."

He asked the court to release his client on either personal recognizance or low bail.

Kemp told the court that although Babcock didn't have a long record, it included "assault offenses" and asked for $50,000 bail.

Colonna said there was an assault and battery charge in 2008 that was later dismissed.

Judge Paul M. Vrabel ordered Babcock held on $50,000 cash or $500,000 surety bail. The defendant is due back in court on Nov. 20, but the case is likely to go to the grand jury.

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