Probation for Pittsfield man who detonated homemade bomb

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PITTSFIELD — A city man who crafted and accidently detonated a homemade bomb last March was sentenced on Wednesday to two years' probation for what his attorney called "one of the dumbest things he's done."

Joshua Capitanio, 33, pleaded guilty in October to charges of possession of an infernal machine, possession of ammunition without a firearms identification card and reckless endangerment of a child.

Capitanio's 2-year-old son was in another room when the blast went off, but he was not harmed. Capitanio was wounded and scarred by shrapnel from the explosion.

Police were dispatched to Capitanio's home for a report of a man having been shot. When they arrived, the child said "Big Boom. Daddy uh-oh," according to police records.

Capitanio's attorney, Jill Sheldon, asked Judge John Agostini to consider continuing the case without a finding for up to two years, after which the charges would be dismissed.

First Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Paul J. Caccaviello sought an 18-month jail sentence, which would be suspended for two years while Capitanio was on probation.

Sheldon said Capitanio did not build the device to cause any harm, but considered it a large firecracker instead, which he learned to construct from having seen one built on television.

Capitanio tried to build the explosive by packing a CO2 cannister with gunpowder, but instead of crimping the open end shut, tried to seal it with a blowtorch, igniting it.

While on probation, Capitanio is required to continue with counseling as directed by the Probation Department.

The investigation was conducted by members of the Pittsfield Police Department.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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