Pittsfield man denies robbing acquaintance

Friday September 14, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A city man that police say robbed an acquaintance at knife-point on Sunday afternoon denies the incident ever happened and says he has an alibi, according to his lawyer.

John L. Zelinsky, 29, says he was with his father at a snowmobile swap meet in Otis at the time that Ronald Schneider alleges Zelinsky robbed him of $300.

On Tuesday in Central Berkshire District Court, Zelinsky pleaded not guilty to single counts of armed robbery and assault to rob.

According to a Pittsfield Police report, Schneider was walking with Zelinsky on Linden Street on Sunday shortly after 3 p.m., when Zelinsky took the man into a yard near the Hot Dog Ranch, pulled out a knife and threatened to kill him if he didn't give him his money.

Schneider told police he was robbed of $300 in cash, but was not hurt in the holdup.

On Tuesday, Zelinsky's attorney, Marc C. Vincelette Sr., told the court that his client believes the accusations against him came about over an unpaid debt to Schneider and an argument over a television set. The two men were neighbors, said the attorney.

"It's a classic case of ‘he said, he said,' " since there were no witnesses to the alleged crime, said Vincelette.

Judge Mark D. Mason revoked Zelinsky's bail on a previous case in which he was charged with carrying a spring-loaded knife. Zelinsky can be held for 60 days without bail. After that time, he will be held on $5,000 cash or $50,000 bond.

Zelinsky is scheduled to back in court next month, but the case may be moved to Superior Court because of the nature of the charges.

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


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