Pittsfield man gets prison term for assault on jail staff, damage to computer

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PITTSFIELD — A 35-year-old city man, described by prosecutors as "quite a handful" at the Berkshire Jail and House of Correction, was sentenced to up to four years in state prison Monday after admitting to assaulting jail staff and destroying a laptop.

Randy Ruusukallio pleaded guilty to charges in three separate incidents, all of which occurred between December 2017 and and October 2018 while he was serving a jail sentence on an assault and battery charge.

According to information presented by Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Joseph Yorlano, on Dec. 11, 2017, Ruusukallio punched a correctional officer in the face during a search in preparation for a transfer to another unit.

On Aug. 29, 2018, Ruusukallio smashed a laptop which was the property of the Sheriff's Department and on Oct. 31, 2018, Ruusukallio, while wearing handcuffs, punched another member of the jail staff in the face during a meeting to discuss his case.

On behalf of Ruusukallio, attorney Joshua Hochberg apologized on the record to the corrections personnel who were assaulted.

Hochberg also noted that since the incidents to which he pleaded guilty, Ruusukallio has been moved to other houses of correction in both Hampden and Essex counties and has not had any similar incidents.

Ruusukallio pleaded guilty to two counts of assault and battery on a correctional officer and one count each of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on a person over 60 and vandalizing prison property.

Judge John Agostini sentenced Ruusukallio to two-to-four years is state prison. Prosecutors sought three-to-five years, while Ruusukallio's attorney asked Agostini to consider a two to two-and-a-half-year jail sentence.

Bob Dunn can be reached at bdunn@berkshireeagle.com, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.

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