Police: Dispute over $3 tax sparked bat attack

Thursday June 14, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A Pittsfield man accused of attacking a city convenience store clerk with a baseball bat is being held without bail.

Kayf C. Devaugn, 18, of Onota Street, was summonsed to Central Berkshire District Court on Wed nesday. He pleaded not guilty to two felonies and a misdemeanor for an alleged attack on a Zuke’s Soup and Variety Store cashier.

Police said it started in a dispute over a question of $3 in change from a purchase. Devaugn’s attorney disputes this, saying his client intervened when his mother was assaulted by the clerk.

According to a Pittsfield Police report, on April 12, a dispute over a $3 tax on a Boost Mobile minutes purchase between Ramona Devaughn, 37, and cashier Jeremiah Martin, 26, turned ugly.

As the argument escalated, Martin tried to appease the woman, according to a police report.

"I told [Ramona Devaughn] I would give her the $3 just to leave the store," Martin later told police.

"I already have someone on their way to handle this," Ramona Devaughn allegedly told Martin.

Kayf Devaughn then entered the store with a metal baseball bat and allegedly began punching and hitting the cashier while two family members held his arms.

Ramona Devaughn allegedly hit Martin in the head with a Humane Society donation box full of change.

Martin suffered cuts and bruises in the alleged attack.

On Wednesday, Marc Vincelette, representing Kayf Devaughn, said Martin’s story "sounds like something from a movie script."

According to Vincelette, Martin was the aggressor, coming at Ramona Dev aughn with what looked like a table leg, verbally and physically assaulting her. Kayf, he said, stepped in between them to defend his mother and the two men fought.

Vincelette said his client just graduated from high school, has been volunteering at the parks department, and planned to attend Berkshire Community College.

Kayf Devaughn was charg ed with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery.

"[Devaughn] has a severe propensity for violence," Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Joseph Zlatnik told the court when asking for the defendant’s bail to be revoked.

Judge Fredric D. Rutberg revoked Kayf Devaughn’s bail on an open case in which he was allegedly involved in a fight at Taconic High School in February. He can be held for up to 60 days.

A July pretrial hearing has been scheduled.

Ramona Devaughn is scheduled to be arraigned on assault and battery charges later this month.


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