No bail for Pittsfield man who fired gun, threatened three and caused BMC lockdown
PITTSFIELD — The city man who allegedly fired a gun Saturday morning on Hull Avenue and caused a lockdown at Berkshire Medical Center was ordered held without bail Monday.
Dylan M. Ducharme, 20, allegedly was on his way to confront a former girlfriend's new boyfriend when the shooting occurred, according to witnesses.
Pittsfield police were dispatched to Hull Avenue about 11:43 a.m. for a report of a man "walking down the street with a gun in his hands, shooting it in the air," according to a report written by Pittsfield Police Detective John Gray.
Police received at least two 911 calls about the gunshot and one witness said they saw the gunman enter the Medical Arts Complex on the Berkshire Medical Center campus, prompting a lockdown of that facility.
A witness told police earlier that morning, they'd received text messages from Ducharme that he was on his way to Hull Avenue to confront the man.
Ducharme allegedly continued to send more messages while en route and called the witness with a description of the man's house when he was nearby.
While calling 911 to report the threats, the witness and a friend heard the gunshot Ducharme allegedly fired while walking on Hull.
Other witnesses told police that when Ducharme arrived at his destination he got involved in a verbal argument with a female, who he then pushed and slapped.
The woman's father told police after witnessing the alleged slap and push, he confronted Ducharme and began hitting him.
At that point, Ducharme allegedly brandished a silver and black handgun at all three people present at the time.
One witness told police she believed she was going to be shot and she could see down the barrel of the pistol, which was about one foot in front of her face. Ducharme also allegedly threatened to shoot the male witness.
Ducharme walked quickly away from the area, according to police and it was then he allegedly fired at least one gunshot into the air.
Witnesses told police the neighborhood was fairly busy at the time, with several children playing nearby.
Ducharme allegedly called his former girlfriend and made several unspecified admissions regarding the incident, police said.
Investigators learned Ducharme had been picked up by friends a short time after the gunshot and was found in their vehicle about 1:04 p.m. and arrested without incident.
Police found a lone .45 caliber shell casing in the street on Hull Avenue.
Ducharme allegedly admitted to police he'd gotten into an argument with the woman and her father on Hull Avenue, but he only took out the weapon due to being afraid when others came out of the house during the altercation.
He told police he fired the shot in the air so he, "wouldn't get jumped," as he left the area.
Ducharme said he ran into the medical building and into the BMC parking garage before running into Wahconah Park and throwing the gun into a swamp.
As of Monday morning, the weapon had not been located, authorities said.
Ducharme's' attorney, Marc Vincelette, asked Judge Michael Ripps to consider releasing his client on $2,500 bail with conditions.
Vincelette said Ducharme has virtually no criminal record, family ties to the area and would be willing to submit to GPS monitoring.
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Amanda Casselman argued for detention without bail, noting Ducharme allegedly intended to confront a man with a weapon, fired it in the air in a city neighborhood and threatened three people with it.
Casselman said the DA's office has concerns for the safety of the alleged victims and the community at large if Ducharme were released from custody.
Vincelette said his client adamantly denies pointing the gun at anyone.
Ducharme pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Monday to three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, and one count each of assault and battery, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, possession of ammunition without a firearms identification card, possession of a firearm without a firearms identification card.
Ripps ordered Ducharme held without bail for up to 120 days and set a pretrial hearing date of June 8.
Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.
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