Police: Pittsfield man pistol-whipped, robbed man in car

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PITTSFIELD — A city man is being held without bail amid charges he pistol-whipped and robbed a 25-year-old man during what police believe was a drug deal gone bad.

Robert C. McBain, 32, is accused of assaulting the victim and stealing about $400 from him about 7:15 p.m. March 10, while getting a ride to the Cumberland Farms on Dalton Avenue.

The victim, who had a cut and bump above his right eye, told police he pulled out his wallet while en route and McBain, who was in the front seat, put a gun to his chest and demanded the money.

He said McBain struck him in the head with the butt of the gun, which he described as a large, silver revolver, after he refused to hand over his money.

Police were given permission to search the vehicle, and they found a realistic-looking BB pistol under the front passenger seat.

The victim initially declined to give a statement to police but eventually provided one, prompting the issuance of a warrant for McBain's arrest. He also provided a series of text messages, which led police to believe that the incident was the result of a drug deal gone awry.

McBain pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Friday to charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and armed robbery with a firearm.

He was ordered held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing originally scheduled for Monday but which was rescheduled to April 16.

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

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