Not guilty plea in shovel attack

Saturday May 26, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A Pittsfield man who allegedly attacked his daughter’s boy friend with a shovel was arraigned on Friday and pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Pittsfield Police also seized four firearms from Ronald Gerber, 49, after they responded to his County Court home Thursday afternoon. Police said Gerber didn’t have a Massachusetts firearms identification card.

Gerber appeared in Central Berkshire District Court on Friday with attorney William A. Rota and was released on personal recognizance by Judge Fredric D. Rutberg after pleading not guilty to the assault and battery charge.

Police said Gerber got into an argument with his teenage daughter’s boyfriend, Nicholas A. Guercio, 20, Thursday around 1:30 p.m. while Guercio was working on his car in the home’s driveway.

The cause of the argument was not in the police report.

The two men began "pushing and shoving," but when Samantha Gerber, 18, told her boyfriend to stop, Guercio walked away only to be hit in the back by a garden shovel wielded by the elder Gerber, according to a police report.

Guercio was able to wrestle the man to the ground and, while holding him down, called 911, police said.

Gerber got up and allegedly reached towards a hunting knife sheathed at his side, prompting Guercio to lock himself in his car.

Guercio suffered only minor injuries and refused medical attention, the report states.

Police arrested Gerber and confiscated three shotguns, a rifle, the knife and the shovel. No firearms charges had been filed in the case as of Friday.

Guercio, who lives with the family, told police he plans on moving out.

This wasn’t the first time Gerber had attacked him, Guercio told police. Three months ago, Gerber allegedly kicked him in the groin and swung a vodka bottle at him. Guercio didn’t press charges in that incident, he said, because Gerber apologized.

Gerber is scheduled to be back in court on July 16 for a pretrial hearing.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:,
or (413) 496-6249.
On Twitter: @BE_TheAmelinckx


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