Richmond man charged with attacking roommate, 79, in dispute over ice cream

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PITTSFIELD - A Richmond man is facing a felony charge for allegedly attacking his 79-year-old roommate with a pair of headphones after a dispute over ice cream.

Adrian Holmes, 65, became infuriated after his roommate came home with ice cream on New Year's Day and didn't bring enough to share, according to state police in Lee. Holmes took off the headphones the man was wearing to listen to the television and began pummeling him with them.

The man, who said Holmes had been drinking "most of" that night, tried to escape into another room, but Holmes began punching him in the buttocks, according to a probable cause report.

The man, "fearing for his life," went upstairs, pulled out an unloaded pistol, went back downstairs and threatened to shoot Holmes in the groin if he didn't leave him alone, police said.

"Go ahead and do it," Holmes allegedly retorted.

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Realizing that his threat had no affect on Holmes, the man returned upstairs and secured the firearm. It was unclear whether the man was injured.

Police investigated the incident the next day at the behest of Berkshire Elder Protective Services.

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Holmes was not arrested but instead was summonsed to appear in Central Berkshire District Court. The troopers allowed the man to keep his handgun, believing he "was in fear for his life at the time and had a right to defend himself," according to the report.

Appearing with attorney Peter C. Alessio, Holmes pleaded not guilty on Thursday to a single count of felony assault and battery on a person over 60 with injury.

Judge Michael J. Shea released Holmes on his own recognizance. The defendant is due back in court on April 28.

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Alessio told The Eagle his client denies the allegations. He said the complaining witness exaggerated about what happened. Holmes, he said, lifted one of the earpieces on the headphone to speak to his roommate and nothing more.

Alessio said he was "shocked" the police treated the fact that the man threatened his client with a gun so lightly. He suggested that a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon would have been appropriate for the complaining witness' actions.

Additionally, there was nothing in the probable cause report to suggest that the alleged victim was injured, the attorney said.

Contact Andrew Amelinckx at 413-496-6249.


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