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A Pittsfield man accused of numerous charges, including assault, will be held pending a dangerousness hearing


Bryce P. Ciepiela, 24, of Summer Street in Pittsfield, pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Monday to 13 charges in three November incidents. He will remain in custody until his dangerousness hearing this week.

PITTSFIELD — A man facing a litany of charges, including assaulting his girlfriend and fleeing from police, is being held without the right to bail, pending a dangerousness hearing Thursday.

Bryce P. Ciepiela, 24, of Summer Street in Pittsfield, had open warrants for several, unrelated criminal matters, court files show.

The first incident began at 3 a.m. Aug. 15, when an officer spotted Ciepiela in a stolen Dodge Ram near the Alltown gas station parking lot on Tyler Street, according to court documents. Ciepiela took off in the pickup and drove for about a mile before bailing on Deming Street and fleeing on foot, leaving the driver’s side door open and the vehicle running.

The vehicle started rolling down the hill toward a cruiser, prompting Officer Robert Horne Jr. to jump inside and put it in park.

Police tracked Ciepiela to the rear of 5 Demont Ave., according to the report, where he denied being the driver, though authorities said his backpack and belongings were on the passenger seat.

After his arraignment Aug. 16 in Central Berkshire District Court on four charges, including subsequent offense motor vehicle larceny, Ciepiela was released and ordered not to operate a motor vehicle and to stay away from the owner of the stolen truck, court documents show.

But, he did get back behind the wheel Nov. 16, when he was pulled over for speeding in a gray sedan near Dalton and Somerset avenues, Officer Anthony Dayton said in a report.

Ciepiela was taken into custody about 9 p.m. for driving after a license suspension, according to the report, and there were two open malt beverages in the car. He claimed that the drinks belonged to the passenger, his girlfriend. But, his girlfriend said she was not intoxicated and agreed to a Breathalyzer, which did not detect alcohol.

The woman also told police that Ciepiela physically assaulted her several times that day, according to the report. He was charged with assault and battery on a family or household member, subsequent offense driving after a suspension, speeding and possessing an open container of alcohol. He failed to show up to his scheduled arraignment the next morning, according to court documents, prompting a judge to issue an arrest warrant.

Three days after missing court, police responding to a report of a domestic disturbance at the Lipton Mart on South Street spoke to his girlfriend, who had sought refuge in the bathroom. She told police Ciepiela had punched her in the face and strangled her with both hands before pressing a blue face mask over her mouth.

Police inspected the car where she said the assault took place and found a “large amount” of blood on the passenger-side dashboard, Officer David Potash said in a report, and the windshield was shattered.

Ciepiela left his backpack behind in the car. When officers searched it, Potash said, they found credit and debit cards that a Pittsfield Police officer reported stolen this month, after her car was broken into, the report said. They also found three residue-covered pipes that police believe were used to smoke narcotics.

Another warrant was issued for Ciepiela’s arrest, this time on six different charges, including strangulation and receiving stolen property.

Pittsfield Police Officer Brian Henault spotted him Sunday afternoon, standing near Wahconah and Park streets. He ran away and into traffic when he saw Henault’s cruiser, a report said, but the officer caught up and arrested him on Seymour Street.

He pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Monday to 13 charges in the three November incidents. He will remain in custody until his dangerousness hearing this week.

Amanda Burke can be reached at aburke@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6296.

Cops and Courts Reporter

Amanda Burke is Cops and Courts Reporter for The Berkshire Eagle. An Ithaca, New York native, she previously worked at The Herald News of Fall River and the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise.

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