Police: North Adams husband claims he 'snapped' over personal matter with wife

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NORTH ADAMS — Just past 1 a.m. Thursday, police received a 911 call from a man identifying himself as Michael Cook.

"I did something I wasn't supposed to," Cook told them. "Please send an ambulance."

Now, Cook, 42, is facing felony charges, accused of severely beating his wife, who remains hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.

A check of Cook's criminal history dating to 1995 — it was included in court documents obtained by The Eagle — shows dozens of counts, including multiple charges of child rape, indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, inducing a minor for sex, and aggravated assault and battery. A dozen restraining orders have been taken out against him, according to a police report.

He was released from prison in 2015, after serving five years of a seven-year term for three counts of rape of a child with force and one count of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.

"[Cook] shows a propensity towards sexual and physical violence and a predatory lifestyle going back over 20 years," according to police.

When police arrived at the couple's Chase Avenue home Thursday morning, Cook told them he got angry with his wife over a personal matter.

"I snapped ... and I bashed her head in," he told officers.

Inside the home, police found the woman unresponsive in a bedroom, bleeding from a wound on the back of her head.

Based on the state of the room, police believe the woman's head was struck against a bedroom dresser, according to a police report.

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She was taken to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, where she underwent what was described as lifesaving surgery. The woman was unresponsive and in a coma and breathing with mechanical assistance Thursday, the report said.

An update on her condition was not immediately available Friday.

After Cook's arrest, police said, he called his mother, telling her, " 'I got myself in trouble again. I don't think you'll see me for a long time.' "

In their report, police noted at least two previous instances of alleged abuse against the woman by Cook.

In an affidavit for a restraining order about a December 2015 episode, she wrote that Cook knocked her out and assaulted her again when she came to. When she got up, Cook allegedly knocked her down and began punching her in the head, telling her, "If I'm going to jail, [I] might as well make it worth it."

She told police at the time that she felt Cook would assault her again.

Cook was charged with assault and battery on a family member and witness intimidation. The woman later invoked her Fifth Amendment rights, police said, saying it was going to be the couple's first Christmas in seven years — the time Cook had been in prison.

The case against Cook was dismissed in February 2016. That October, the woman reported to police that Cook sexually assaulted her, but she declined to participate in the follow-up investigation, police said.

Cook pleaded not guilty in Northern Berkshire District Court on Thursday to charges of assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, and assault and battery on a family or household member. He is expected to be further charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon resulting in severe injury.

He was ordered to be held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

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


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