Pittsfield man accused of attack on fellow defendant in district court holding cell


PITTSFIELD -- An alleged member of the Bloods street gang is being held on $500 bail after he allegedly used his handcuffs as a weapon to attack another defendant in the holding cell at Central Berkshire District Court.

Gregory Parslow, 27, of Pittsfield, was back in the Central District Court on Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to felony assault and battery with a dangerous weapon for allegedly beating up Kouadjo E. Behanzin. The two men were in the holding cell for court appearances on May 3.

That day in the holding cell and a few minutes after Parslow had been sentenced to jail on drug charges, he rushed at Behanzin and struck him in the head with his hands and handcuffs, according to a probable cause report. One of the security officers reported hearing a "loud whack."

The officer called for backup and entered the cell in an attempt to stop Parslow. By then, Parslow "had his hands and handcuffs" around Behanzin's neck and was "choking him out against the wall," according to the report.

Parslow was eventually subdued and Behanzin was taken to Berkshire Medical Center for minor injuries.

The probable cause report does not indicate what instigated the alleged attack. Parslow later told the officers he was a member of the Bloods street gang.

On May 3, Parslow had pleaded guilty to possession of heroin, ecstasy and suboxone and was sentenced to a total of 90 days in jail. He had told his attorney at the time he wanted to plead the case out. The charges stemmed from a traffic stop by the state police in Pittsfield in March.

Behanzin, 25, of Pittsfield, had been in court for charges related to the alleged stabbing of 24-year-old Jamel L. Nicholson and the alleged abuse of Behanzin's estranged wife.

Parslow was released earlier this year from state prison on an armed robbery conviction, according to court documents.

On Wednesday, Parslow appeared in court with his attorney Alexander Sohn, pleaded not guilty to the charge and was held on $500 bail by Judge Paul M. Vrabel. A pretrial hearing has been scheduled for July.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
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