Pittsfield man accused of stabbing nephew with ice pick


PITTSFIELD -- A city man accused of stabbing his nephew with an ice pick during a drunken brawl is being held without bail after denying two felonies.

Frank Messer, 53, of First Street, allegedly stabbed his 24-year-old nephew in the forearm and back on Thursday night at a city residence after an argument turned violent and punches were thrown, according to police.

After family members separated the men, Messer allegedly began swinging an "old fashioned" ice pick with a wooden handle. He also ran after his nephew with a kitchen knife and had to be restrained so his nephew could go to the emergency room, police said.

The wounds were not life threatening, but they are listed on the police report as "severe." It was unclear whether the nephew had been discharged from the hospital by press time.

Messer pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Friday to single counts of felony assault to murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Through his lawyer, Thomas C. Doyle, Messer said he didn't have much of a memory of what happened Thursday night.

"His last memory is of his nephew stomping on his head with work boots on," the attorney said. Doyle described what happened as an "alcohol-fueled brawl." He pointed out his client had also received wounds in the alleged incident and said Messer's nephew had been the aggressor that night.

Doyle said there was some question as to how the witness who made the allegations was able to see what happened.

The nephew has not been charged.

Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Andrew Giarolo asked that the defendant have his bail revoked on an earlier case from last August in which he allegedly broke into a vacant home and stole more than $3,000 of piping from the residence. That case is set for a Jury of Six trial next month.

He cited Messer's record, which includes charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and making threats, and the nature of the charges in the newest case.

Judge Fredric D. Rutberg, found there was probable cause Messer had committed the new crime and revoked bail on the earlier case. Messer can be held for up to 60 days without bail at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction.

Bail of $100 was placed on the new charges.

He is due back in court next month.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:


or (413) 496-6249.

On Twitter: @BE_TheAmelinckx


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