New Ashford hotel owner beaten, robbed; suspect arrested


NEW ASHFORD -- A motel owner remains hospitalized after one of his employees allegedly beat, bound and robbed him late Wednesday night.

According to a report filed by the Cheshire barracks of the Massachusetts State Police, Arthur W. Jones III, 43, of Weymouth, went to the Econo Lodge The Springs Inn & Resort on Route 7 where he had been working for the past week or so at around 11 p.m. He started banging on the glass door so he could be let into the main lobby.

When the inn's owner, Arun Ankola, opened the door Jones allegedly grabbed him, dragged him down the stairs into the basement, tied him up with an extension cord and stole approximately $300 in cash and an ATM card. Jones allegedly threatened to kill Ankola if he didn't give him his PIN number.

Ankola eventually freed himself and called 911. He said Jones had also stolen a truck from him a few days earlier. Ankola was also providing a room at the Econo Lodge for Jones' father while he was employed there

Ankola was transported to Berkshire Medical Center where he is receiving treatment for injuries to his wrists, arm and neck. A spokesperson at BMC declined to comment on his condition.

Jones was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon against a person older than 60, unarmed robbery of a person older than 60, and kidnapping. He is scheduled to be arraigned today in Northern Berkshire District Court in North Adams.

Police provided no information on who they apprehended Jones.

On Thursday, Jones was arraigned on an unrelated charge of larceny over $250 in Central Berkshire District Court in Pittsfield. According to the police report, Jones allegedly stole $1,250 in cash and a $200 cell phone from a family member in January.

Jones pleaded not guilty to that charge. Bail for Jones was set at $1,500 cash, $15,000 surety bond.

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