Police: Naked man yelled "trick or treat"

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PITTSFIELD >> A naked man who yelled "trick or treat" at a shocked female bus driver is being held on $500 bail after pleading not guilty to indecent exposure.

Robert J. Ford, 49, allegedly approached a female bus driver at about 8 p.m. Friday at the city's school bus operations on Merrill Road as the woman prepared a school bus for a trip. Ford knocked on the window to get her attention and when she turned to look, the completely nude man yelled "trick or treat." The woman ran into the office for help while Ford rode off on a bicycle, according to a Pittsfield police report.

Police arrested Ford a short time later in the area of Rector Street. They found him hiding in the bushes. He was still naked. Ford, "acting very strange" and seemingly unable to keep from constantly moving, was sent to Berkshire Medical Center for evaluation before being booked, police said. He was held over the weekend until his arraignment on Monday.

Ford, through his lawyer, explained to Judge William O'Grady in Central Berkshire District Court, that he was a drug dependent person who had relapsed and had been high on amphetamines at the time. His attorney Jerrold F. Trahey, told the court Ford doesn't recall much of what happened Friday night but that he might have gotten overheated and stripped down to cool off. The attorney said that although his client has a criminal record, it doesn't include any "deviant" behavior. He asked that his client be released on his own recognizance.

Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Megan Tesoniero asked the court to hold Ford on $500 bail pointing to his criminal record out of Vermont and the nature of the alleged crimes as reasons for the bail.

O'Grady ordered Ford held at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Corrections on $500 cash or surety bail and told him to stay away from the school bus operations center if he is released.

Ford is due back in court for a pretrial hearing on Nov. 19.

To contact Andrew Amelinckx, call (413) 496-6249.

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