Egremont police searching for suspects in attempted abduction

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By Thursday, May 17 News  13 Comments
Terry Cowgill
The intersection of Route 23 and Creamery Road in Egremont. Police are on the lookout for four male suspects, one of whom allegedly tried to kidnap a female jogger on Creamery Road.

Egremont — Police are on the lookout for four suspects after the report of an attempted abduction yesterday of a jogger on Creamery Road.

In a news release posted on the department’s Facebook page at approximately 10 p.m. Wednesday, the Egremont Police Department said that, about five hours earlier, the female complainant had been jogging on Creamery Road, which runs between Routes 23 and 71, when she was approached by a vehicle which she described as an older gray or silver Jeep Wrangler with a soft top and tape on the windows.

After the Jeep pulled up to the woman and stopped, the front-seat passenger opened his door and grabbed the victim by the arm. She managed to break free and ran to a nearby home, where authorities were alerted. Police said the Jeep drove off and was last seen heading south on Creamery Road in the direction of Route 23.

“The victim described the occupants of the vehicle as four Hispanic males who were unknown to her,” Egremont police said. “The victim was unable to obtain the registration number of the vehicle but described it is one of the newer gold and black New York state license plates.”

The Egremont Police Facility, where police are investigating an attempted abduction that was reported yesterday. Photo: Terry Cowgill

In an update this morning, Egremont police said they had no additional information to release: “The incident remains open and the investigation will continue.”

But Beth Regulbuto, the superintendent of the Southern Berkshire Regional School District, of which Egremont is a member town, sent an email to the school committee today advising the community of steps the district is taking. 

“The [school resource officer], principals and staff will be speaking to the students, in an age-appropriate manner, about how to keep themselves safe around strangers,” Regulbuto said. “With the addition of our SRO, we are planning to continue to teach safety as part of our standard curriculum, and the message of stranger danger will be reinforced. We want children to be safe, but not scared.”

Unlike many other districts in Berkshire County, Southern Berkshire does have a school resource officer. Sheffield police officer Tricia Zucco was appointed by the school committee as the district’s half-time SRO on Feb. 1. Regulbuto told The Edge the position is partially funded by a grant from the Sheffield Police Department and matched by the school committee. 

In partnership with us, we ask that our parents/guardians to talk with their child, in whatever manner you feel is appropriate, to warn them of the danger of going with strangers,” Regulbuto added. “I have informed the bus company as we have students with stops in that area, and all drivers have been alerted.”

Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact the Egremont Police at (413) 528-2160.


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13 Comments   Add Comment

  1. Carl Stewart says:

    It is more than a bit dismaying that in what must have been a very brief encounter in which the victim of the attack first told the police that the color of the car was cream, and then changed her opinion to “silver or grey,” she was nonetheless able to identify all four of the occupants of the car as “Hispanic.” How did she ascertain this? Was “Buena Vista Social Club” blasting on the CD player? Did the upholstery have tell-tale guacamole stains? Was there a copy of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ “100 Years of Solitude” resting on the dashboard? Were the occupants wearing Lionel Messi jerseys? Had the 4 men in the car been tall and blond would law enforcement have described them as “Scandinavian?”

    At a time when we have an illiterate, racist thug as president who, in the course of little more than a year, is attempting (along with his complicit swamp dwellers) to undo over 200 years of the most successful democracy on the planet, we need to be particularly vigilant about characterizations such as this one. The Southern Poverty Law Center has compiled alarming statistics regarding the exponential increase in hate crimes based on race, religion and ethnicity since the nomination and election of Mr. Trump. Law enforcement has a legitimate need to obtain as much detail as possible about suspected perpetrators of criminal acts, but we need to have a cost-benefit analysis prior to disseminating this information to the public.

    1. Lauren says:

      Carl, I had the same reaction when I read “Four Hispanic males”. They may well have been, but characterizing them as such in an article like this is reckless. Thank you for your comments.

      1. Terry Cowgill says:

        Lauren, just so you know: the description of the suspects as Hispanic was quoted directly from the news release that came from the Egremont police. It is hardly “reckless” to include the description in a news article when said description came the authorities. If nothing else, readers should know that’s what the police released and that’s how the complainant described the four men.

    2. Steve says:

      Carl, you said: “Law enforcement has a legitimate need to obtain as much detail as possible about suspected perpetrators of criminal acts, but we need to have a cost-benefit analysis prior to disseminating this information to the public.” You seem to acknowledge that police need as much detail as possible — anything a shaken victim can recall — to help find the perpetrators. But at the same time you seem to be arguing that police should suppress certain information. Who decides what to make public and what to suppress? Are there rules that govern that? In the beginning of your post you cite a real problem of bias in our society. But your solution terrifies me and seems quite Trumpian in its spirit and approach.

    3. George McGurn says:

      Thanks, Carl, for eloquently unleashing a needed community conversation.

    4. Carl Stewart says:

      Some thoughts on the comments that followed mine, above:

      1. As a general rule, unless there is a very cogent reason for commenting under a cloak of anonymity, the refusal to reveal your full name is cowardly. If you do not have the courage of your convictions, don’t comment publicly. The Edge knows of a number of incidents where a commenting person had a pecuniary or other interest in the story and remained anonymous to hide their bias.

      2. “Mary” faults political correctness as the reason we should be careful before identifying potential targets of criminal prosecution by their race or ethnicity. This is not a political issue, but a human rights one. It would be interesting to know the factual basis on which Mary opines that “I’m sure there is a good chance they were Hispanic.” This supposition is no more valid than one would be if I speculated that I believed the suspects were not Hispanic. Hers is an irresponsible comment that does not further law enforcement one whit.

      3. “Marc” says that “others have cast doubt on the victim.” Who did that Marc? [The police report, which is almost certainly obtainable by a member of the public under the Massachusetts Public Records Law, should indicate the basis for the claim that the alleged suspects were “Hispanic.”]

      4. “Steve” denotes the difference I see in law enforcement internal information and information released to the public as “Trumpian.” I know it is fashionable these days to label anything you disagree with as emanating from the Trump White House, but what makes this idea “Trumpian?”

      5. Unless the incident took place on school grounds or in some other way involved a student or staff member of the school district, it is outside the Superintendent’s sphere of responsibility to be involved in law enforcement matters. If it turns out that the information was incorrect and was transmitted without the exercise of due care, the school district could be held financially liable to anyone harmed by the broadcast of the information.

      6. I appreciate that George McGurn, the newest member of the Egremont Selectboard, sees that a community dialogue might be a good discussion to start. I also appreciate that he is unafraid to identity himself in these comments.

      1. dennis irvine says:

        Carl; Anonymous speech plays a vital role in civil discourse. Calling people cowardly is both inaccurate and unkind and needless. I have included a link you may find educational- (https://www.eff.org/issues/anonymity).

      2. Jason says:

        Carl – I’m incredibly disturbed by your obviously mysgonistic and victim-blaming/shaming commentary questioning the victim’s experience and intent. This was obviously a traumatic experience for the woman, and we should be more considered about her welfare and safety as opposed to the four men that grabbed her, which is exactly indicative of the patriarchal system that you, Carl, and other men perpetuate in their attempt to own and control women’s thoughts (this woman’s description of her attackers) and in this case, their bodies as well by physically trying to control her.

        Carl, in the #metoo era, your comments are all too sadly reflective of a relic of a “men know best era” that we all need to fight against, hopefully starting with yourself.

  2. mary says:

    Everyone is so PC; they are afraid to speak the truth. Good for her for trying to identify the suspects and have them apprehended. I’m sure there is a good chance they were Hispanic and nobody in this liberal town wants to admit that.

    1. Marc says:

      Exactly Mary. And STILL others want to cast doubt on the victim. I’d like to see how they’d react if it happened to them or a loved one.

    2. Shawn G. says:

      You’re “sure there is a good chance they were Hispanic. ” ??
      I’m “sure” there is a good chance that you’re racist!

  3. Bob says:

    I’m a contributor to the Southern Poverty Law Center and aware of the rise of hate and racism. However , the description is very important to alert everyone that this type of activity can occur anywhere. The description was about the car , the occupants and the license plates, not only the race / nationality of the occupants. Hopefully this info was widely disseminated and either they will be caught or will stay away from the area. If I see a Jeep Wrangler with NY Plates , a soft top and tape on the windows I’ll get the plate # and report it to the police. It doesn’t matter who is in the car.

  4. Joseph Method says:

    I agree with Dennis Irvine that anonymity isn’t necessarily negative. There is also an important distinction to be made between anonymity with and without identity. Someone can be anonymous but always use the same username so even though you don’t know who they are they have the same identity across everything they say. I don’t worry too much about not knowing who “Marc” is if the username is consistent. The important thing to acknowledge is that there are tradeoffs with each system. Every time I post here I hesitate because I know what I say will be associated with my name in Google results forever, which makes speech much ‘heavier’.

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