Carjack suspect faces new charges after alleged vehicle theft

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NORTH ADAMS — Weeks before he was to go to trial on a carjacking charge, an Adams man allegedly stole a Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts transport van Tuesday.

Brandon Smith, 23, of Adams, allegedly was intoxicated when he took a van and led officers on a brief afternoon pursuit along East Main Street.

Smith's bail on a 2017 carjacking charge — it was slated for trial June 10 — was revoked for 60 days in an agreement between prosecutors and the defendant after his arraignment on the new charges Wednesday.

Police found the van on East Main Street shortly after it was reported stolen at 4:36 p.m. Pursued by three police cruisers, the driver swerved the van between the left and right sides of the road for about one-fifth of a mile before stopping.

When police approached the vehicle, they found Smith slouched over the steering wheel, according to the criminal complaint filed by North Adams Police Officer Nicholas Felix. Smith had trouble standing, his speech was slurred and he smelled of alcohol.

Surveillance video provided by the college shows Smith entering the van and backing it onto East Main Street.

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Smith allegedly assaulted an officer, by spitting in his face as the booking process concluded.

He pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Northern Berkshire District Court to single counts of larceny of a motor vehicle, breaking and entering in the daytime for a felony, operating under the influence, assault and battery on a police officer, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and failure to stop for police.

In the previous case, Smith faces a single count of carjacking and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

On Dec. 17, 2017, a man who knew Smith offered to give him and several unidentified friends a ride from the McDonald's in North Adams. The group allegedly beat the man who made the offer and stole his car on West Road in Clarksburg. It was recovered near Tyler Street in North Adams.

Smith is scheduled to appear in court June 10 for a trial and pretrial hearing.

Adam Shanks can be reached at ashanks@berkshireeagle.com, at @EagleAdamShanks on Twitter, or 413-629-4517.


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