Pittsfield man denies knife charges

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Shaun R. Laughran, 29, of Francis Avenue, pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of carrying a dangerous weapon and to a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace at his arraignment Friday in Central Berkshire District Court.

A judge released Laughran on $500 bail and ordered him to return for a May 10 pretrial hearing.

Laughran banged on the doors of two neighboring Francis Avenue apartments, police said, then accused the occupants of those apartments of stealing his computer. One neighbor, Jeffrey Kline, told police that Laughran had a knife and hammer when he confronted Kline around 2:30 a.m. Friday.

Pittsfield Police Officer Sean Klink, the first officer to respond to the call, confirmed that Laughran was in possession of those items when he arrived at the scene. Police, citing a witness account, said Laughran also made threats about burning down the multi-unit West Side apartment building where he and the neighbors reside.

Laughran was arrested and transported to police headquarters downtown, where he allegedly banged his head on a booking room wall. Officer Ryan M. Williams stated in a report that "Laughran turned around and banged his head off of the wall" as another officer led him through the booking room door.

"Laughran started to become uncooperative as we were trying to place him in his cell," Williams said. "Due to his disorderly behavior, Laughran had to be placed in a restraint chair."

Williams also noted that Laughran threatened to "snuff" the first inmate or correctional officer he encounters at the county jail.

This is not Laughran's first brush with the law. The unemployed man has "a record of convictions," including a January 2008 conviction for assaulting a 48-year-old woman in Pittsfield. Laughran received a probation sentence and a suspended jail term for that crime.

He also was charged with assaulting a Pittsfield police officer in November 2008 during a domestic disturbance involving him and his girlfriend, who stabbed Laughran with a steak knife. A month later, Theresa Roche was sentenced to 120 days at the county jail after admitting to the knife assault. Laughran and Roche have children together, according to court records.

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