No bail for Pittsfield man in alleged bat attack
PITTSFIELD -- The 48-year-old woman who suffered a fractured skull and a slashed ear during what police called a random attack last week has been released from the hospital. The teen police say was the attacker is in jail without bail.
Pittsfield police say Alex Leclair, 19, of Wellington Avenue, drunkenly attacked the woman with a knife and baseball bat and left her unconscious on Orchard Street at about 1:15 a.m. on Aug. 22.
Minutes before, the police had dropped him off at his home because he was intoxicated and had allegedly assaulted three women on Daniels Avenue. The women told police they didn't know Leclair.
On Thursday during a dangerousness hearing in Central Berkshire District Court, Pittsfield Police Officer David Kirchner testified that one of the women wanted to press charges against Leclair and Kirchner told her she would have to bring a private complaint since Leclair hadn't done anything "arrestable."
The officer told the court that Leclair was drunk and although the police sometimes take intoxicated people into protective custody, the decision was made to take Leclair back to his home in this case.
Police were called back to the neighborhood 10 minutes later for a report of an unconscious woman in the middle of the street. When they arrived, the woman was conscious, but disoriented, according to Kirchner. She was taken to Berkshire Medical Center where she was treated and later released.
Pittsfield Police Detective Timothy Koenig testified Thursday that there were witnesses to the attack and the descriptions given of the perpetrator match those of Leclair.
The victim believed she was attacked by two men, but witnesses said it was a single male, according to the detective.
Leclair has denied a single count of aggravated assault and battery.
In court, his attorney, Jessica Byrne, centered her cross examinations on the identification of her client as the attacker. She questioned the police as to the reliability of the witnesses.
The attorney also argued that there were less restrictive means to ensure public safety.
Judge Michael J. Ripps found that the prosecutor Joseph Yorlano had met his burden and ordered Leclair held without bail for 90 days at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Oct. 17 in the case.
Leclair previously served jail time after pleading guilty in Dec. 2011 to assaulting a 46-year-old man who police said had intervened in an attempt to stop Leclair and his friends from harassing a young girl on North Street late in the night that October. Police said he hit the man with a beer bottle, which Leclair denied. He did admit to hitting the man with his fist.
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