Report: Pittsfield officer's 'concerning behavior' with young women led to his firing

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PITTSFIELD — A city police officer was fired this year after an internal investigation determined that he had "engaged in a pattern of ... concerning behavior surrounding young women."

Nicholas Cabral, who was still in his probationary period, was found to have had inappropriate contact with at least two high school students, according to a report summarizing the department's investigation.

Pittsfield Police Chief Michael Wynn briefed the Pittsfield Police Advisory and Review Board about the matter during the board's meeting Tuesday.

The 35-page report, dated April 8, was obtained by The Eagle via a public records request. Much of the report, including names of those who brought forward complaints about Cabral, was redacted. Cabral's age and hometown were unavailable.

The investigation was launched March 11, after a complaint regarding an incident March 8.

A 17-year-old Taconic High School student reported that Cabral, who was working an overtime detail at the business where the girl worked, offered to walk her to her car about 9 p.m.

Cabral asked her how old she was, and when she told him she was 17, replied that he could tell by the way she was looking at him that she wanted to kiss him.

After coaxing the girl to let him into the car, according to the report, Cabral kissed her and "was touching her legs and chest" and "touched her all over her clothes."

Surveillance footage showed the two leaving the store together, Cabral entering the passenger side and the vehicle driving around to the back of the building, where the lights were turned off. The vehicle remained parked for about 18 seconds, then the lights came back on, the vehicle was driven back around front and Cabral exited.

The girl said Cabral asked her if she was OK, and she said no and that she needed to leave.

The investigation also found that Cabral exchanged what were described as sexually explicit text messages with a 16-year-old girl sometime in February.

He admitted interacting with the girl in person, over the phone and via social media, according to the report.

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In another instance, Cabral pulled over a 21-year-old woman for a defective taillight, the report said. He then asked her if she was nervous because he was "cute," and asked for her phone number.

A female employee of the Central Berkshire District Court also made a complaint against Cabral, stating that on at least two occasions he made suggestive or inappropriate comments to her while both were working.

Police also received complaints about Cabral from a manager of a business at which Cabral occasionally worked a detail, citing his demeanor and lack of professionalism, and requested that the department not assign him there for future shifts.

Other instances of concerning behavior also were included in the report.

Cabral was placed on administrative leave during the investigation. A message left with the city's Personnel Department seeking Cabral's date of termination from the force was not immediately returned.

Lt. John Soules, who conducted the investigation, found that Cabral violated at least six departmental policies: privacy and off-duty conduct; conduct unbecoming an officer; neglect of duty; immorality; criminal conduct; and a private vehicle violation.

Wynn told the advisory board that he concurred with all the findings, except for the immorality and private vehicle violations, noting that while he filed those charges, ultimately he didn't feel that the conduct rose to the level of violations on those two points.

He said that if the investigation showed a crime had been committed, charges would have been filed.

Wynn explained to the board that an officer doesn't need to be charged with a crime to be found in violation on grounds of criminal conduct.

He also said he found additional violations, including falsifying records and not cooperating with the investigation.

Attempts to reach Cabral for comment were unsuccessful.

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


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