Pittsfield man faces gun charge after scuffle with police during traffic stop


PITTSFIELD -- A city man is in jail on charges he unlawfully carried a gun and fought with state police, who used pepper spray to subdue him, after a traffic stop Wednesday in Adams.

Tyler Sumner, 19, was a rear-seat passenger in a vehicle driven by a 16-year-old girl about 4:40 p.m. when state police trooper Michael O'Brien noticed a vehicle he believed was being driven by a junior licensed operator on Route 8.

O'Brien, who believed that a passenger was approximately the same age, pulled over the vehicle on Columbia Street. There were five people in the vehicle.

Under Massachusetts law, a person with a junior operator's license is not allowed to have anybody in the car under 18 unless somebody who is 21 or older is in the vehicle.

O'Brien gave the account in a signed disposition relayed by Berkshire Assistant District Attorney Jeff Clarke at Sumner's arraignment in Central Berkshire District Court on Thursday.

The trooper stated he was suspicious of their story that they were traveling to North Adams from Pittsfield to go to Walmart, since Pittsfield has a Walmart.

While running checks on the passengers through a computer database, he observed "a lot of movement in the vehicle," Clarke said.

Sumner came up as having an open probation case for firing a gun in the city of Pittsfield last year. Two of the other back seat passengers had arrest records.

Sumner was asked to step out of the vehicle and submit to a search, O'Brien said, at which point a struggle ensued. Sumner allegedly knocked O'Brien to the pavement and took a swing at trooper Dave McKearney, who had come to O'Brien's aid.

After being wrestled down, Sumner was sprayed twice in the face with pepper spray and handcuffed. Sumner told troopers he had a gun in his jacket pocket.

Police uncovered a .25 Caliber Colt pistol with a single bullet.

Sumner was charged with unlicensed possession of a firearm, a firearm violation with a prior violent or drug crime, unlicensed possession of ammunition, assault and battery on a police officer and resisting arrest.

Sumner's attorney, Michelle Mechta, argued that the search was unlawful.

Judge Michael Ripps said that could be argued at a later date.

Ripps set a dangerousness hearing for Sumner at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Northern Berkshire District Court in North Adams. Sumner, an alleged member of the Crips gang, will continue to be held at Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction.

In April, Sumner pleaded guilty to three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon for an October shooting after an argument on John Street while accompanied by four other alleged members of the Crips gang. One of the bullets shattered the window of a vehicle.

He was sentenced to nine months in jail, including time served since his November arrest.


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