Two Conn. men arrested, charged in Great Barrington stabbing, robbery

Friday October 5, 2012

GREAT BARRINGTON -- Two men have been arrested and charged in connection with a Sept. 14 armed robbery and stabbing of a 25-year-old Sheffield man, according to local police.

Kijuame Taft, 33, was arrested at his home in Waterbury, Conn., by police there on Monday. And on Thursday, Deon Allen, 21, also of Waterbury, was arrested at his house by Waterbury police. Both were picked up on warrants issued by the Great Barrington Police Department.

Taft, who also apparently maintains an address on Francis Avenue in Pittsfield, was arraigned in Waterbury as a fugitive from justice and will be held there until Oct. 15 when he is expected to be returned to Massachusetts. Here, Taft faces charges of armed robbery, assault to rob, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and witness intimidation.

Allen is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday in Waterbury on a fugitive from justice charge. He will also be brought back to Massachusetts to face the same charges.

Aaron Strampach was stabbed in an altercation with Taft and Allen after an alleged drug deal in Housatonic, according to Great Barrington police. Taft and Allen were allegedly trying to collect money from Strampach, police said.

Strampach was assaulted and stabbed twice in the arm and once in the abdomen outside 10 Depot St. around 12:40 a.m. on Sept. 14. Strampach was treated at the hospital and released the following day.

Police also said charges of conspiracy to violate drug laws and obstruction may be filed at a later date against both Taft, Allen and two other individuals police have not identified.

This investigation was conducted by the Great Barrington Police Department, with assistance from the Massachusetts State Police Berkshire Narcotics Unit, Pittsfield Police Department Narcotics Unit, and the Waterbury Police Department Detectives Unit in Connecticut.


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