Teen accused of Thanksgiving Day high-speed chase rejects plea bargain
PITTSFIELD -- This week, an 18-year-old Lanesborough man had a plea rejected by a District Court judge for a Thanksgiving Day high-speed chase, and he also was arraigned on a second set of sexual assault charges in Superior Court weeks after pleading not guilty to similar charges involving a different teen girl.
On Tuesday, in Central Berkshire District Court, Chad Foley of Irvin Street pulled his plea at the last minute after Judge Paul M. Vrabel said he would sentence him to six months in jail for the Nov. 22 chase involving police. The chase began in the Berkshire Mall parking lot in Lanesborough and ended in Windsor when Foley crashed the SUV he was driving.
Foley's attorney, Edmund St. John IV of Adams, had asked the judge to continue the case without a finding of guilt and sentence his client to probation. Foley will now be heading to trial in August.
The judge cited the 21 charges Foley is facing and the defendant's dangerous behavior that night as reasons for rejecting the plea. The judge's sentence went beyond what the Berkshire District Attorney's Office had sought. The DA's office was asking for a six-month sentence with 60 days to be served in jail, with the rest of the time suspended, and probation.
According to police, on the night of Nov. 22 Foley took his father's 1999 white Dodge Durango SUV without permission, picked up three friends and went to the Berkshire Mall for Black Friday shopping. After failing to stop for a police officer for allegedly driving too fast, he led numerous police officers on a chase that wound through Pittsfield and Dalton. It ended when Foley crashed on Route 9 in Windsor. His passengers allegedly pleaded with him to stop and called 911 for help during the chase.
On Wednesday, in an unrelated case, Foley was arraigned in Berkshire Superior Court on single counts of rape and abuse of a child with no force and indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14 for alleged incidents involving a 13-year-old girl in Pittsfield between Aug. 1 and Aug. 5, 2012. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
He was already facing two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or older for allegedly sexually assaulting a 15-year-old between July 1 and Aug. 31, 2012. He has also pleaded not guilty to those charges.
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Rachael Eramo is prosecuting the Superior Court charges. St. John is representing Foley on all three of his cases.
Foley remains out on $1,000 bail.