Pittsfield man accused of "aggressively panhandling"

Friday April 26, 2013

PITTSFIELD -- Pittsfield Police say a 47-year-old city man has been "aggressively panhandling," mainly from women, since December and was arrested Wednesday night on a charge of disorderly conduct for the latest incident.

On Thursday in Central Berkshire District Court, Joseph M. Manning of McLaughlin Place pleaded to sufficient facts for a finding of guilt and had his case continued without a finding for three months. Judge Paul M. Vrabel also ordered him to pay $150 in fines and fees. If he stays out of trouble, the charge will be dismissed in July.

Police arrested Manning at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday after he allegedly approached a female employee of the 99 Restaurant on Merrill Road as she was leaving work. Police say Manning asked her how many employees were still inside, then said his truck had broken down and needed money from her.

According to a police report, Manning frightened the woman.

The Pittsfield Police are continuing to investigate a number of similar cases in which Manning is considered a suspect.

In an incident in March, a man blocked in an 18-year-old woman with his car who was attempting to leave the parking lot of the McDonald’s on Cheshire Road. He told her that he needed gas money and when she tried to give him $10, he allegedly told her "$20 would be better." She gave him the money and he left. She later told police she had been intimidated into giving the man the cash.

No other charges have been filed against Manning as of Thursday.


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