Police: Pittsfield teen struck Samaritan with beer

Tuesday October 18, 2011

PITTSFIELD -- A Pittsfield teenager accused of smashing a beer bottle across the face of a Samaritan was held without bail Monday after his arraignment in Central Berkshire District Court.

Alex Leclair, 17, of Winter Street, pleaded not guilty to assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in the case before Judge Bethzaida Sanabria-Vega.

According to a police report, Leclair hit 46-year-old Pittsfield resident Malek K. Hassan with a beer bottle after the man tried to stop Leclair and several other teens from harassing a young girl on North Street late Saturday night.

The report does not indicate how many teens were present or the age of the girl.

The attack left Hassan with a face laceration that required stitches, according to police and prosecutors.

Leclair's attorney, Isabel Colonna, told the court a different version of events during Monday's hearing.

Leclair was walking with the young girl when an inebriated Hassan began to harass them, according to the defense attorney, who said punches were thrown after a heated exchange between Hassan and Leclair.

Leclair admitted punching Hassan, but only after Hassan hit him first, according to the police report.

The beer bottle was Hassan's and was not used by Leclair, Colonna told the court.

"There was no assault and battery with a dangerous weapon," she said.

A witness allegedly told police he saw Leclair hit Hassan in the face with the bottle. The same witness had stopped the group of teens from attacking another man earlier that night, according to the report.

Leclair also was charged Monday with larceny from a person. That charge stems from Leclair taking a jacket and hooded sweatshirt from Hassan, according to police.

Colonna said her client accidentally picked up the wrong jacket. Hassan's cell phone also allegedly was taken, but was not found on Leclair.

On Monday, the Berkshire District Attorney's Office asked that Leclair's bail on a pending assault case be revoked.

In that case, according to the DA's Office, Leclair pushed his then-16-year-old girlfriend to the ground during an argument in July.

Colonna brushed that case aside as a "boyfriend-girlfriend situation," adding that the DA's Office had offered her client a continuation without a finding if he agreed to counseling in the matter.

Sanabria-Vega, however, ordered Monday that Leclair's bail be revoked, which could keep the defendant behind bars at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction for up to 60 days without the right to bail. After that time, Leclair will be allowed to post $100 cash or $1,000 bail bond.

A pretrial hearing in the Samaritan case was scheduled for Nov. 17.


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