Pittsfield man is alleged shovel attack gets year's probation

Sunday December 30, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A 50-year-old Pittsfield man who police said attacked his daughter’s boyfriend with a shovel in May was given pretrial probation on Friday in Central Berkshire District Court.

Ronald Gerber, who lives on County Court, was facing a felony charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, while Nicholas A. Guercio, 21, the alleged victim of the attack, was facing a misdemeanor count of assault and battery for his role in the May 24 incident. He, too, was given pretrial probation.

On the afternoon of May 24, Gerber and Guercio began arguing, a confrontation that escalated to pushing and shoving, said Pittsfield Police. When Guercio walked away from the confrontation at the behest of his girlfriend Gerber hit him in the back with a garden shovel, according to a police report.

The two men wrestled before Gerber got up and allegedly reached toward a hunting knife sheathed at his side, prompting Guercio to lock himself in his car, said police. The report said Guercio received only minor injuries that didn’t require medical attention.

On Friday, Judge Fredric D. Rutberg gave both men pretrial probation for a year, a disposition in which their is no admission of guilt and the case is dismissed after the designated time. But if either man gets in trouble with the law during that time prosecutors can go forward with their charges.

The judge followed the joint recommendation between the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office and the men’s attorneys.

Attorney William A. Rota represented Gerber. Jerrold F. Trahey was Guercio’s lawyer.

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