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News Briefs: GBPD make arrest after home invasion; reward offered in red-tailed hawk shooting

By Friday, Oct 26, 2018 News 7

Great Barrington police arrest man following home invasion

Great Barrington — Chief William Walsh reports that the Great Barrington Police Department arrested a man earlier this week following a home invasion.

Michael Thorpe Jr., age 36, whose last known address was in Great Barrington, was arrested and charged with:

  • Breaking and entering in the daytime for a felony;
  • Assault and battery on a disabled person over 60;
  • Threat to commit a crime (murder);
  • Unarmed robbery of a person over 60;
  • Destruction of property; and
  • Trespassing.

On Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 1:30 p.m., Great Barrington police were dispatched to a Park Street home for a report of a past break-in and assault. Upon arrival, officers conducted an on-scene investigation and learned that the victim was home when a man, later identified as Thorpe, kicked in the back door of the home and entered.

Thorpe, who is known to the victim, was allegedly carrying her purse when she discovered him inside her home. He then allegedly assaulted her, threatened to kill her and demanded any money or prescriptions she had in her possession.

After retrieving some cash, Thorpe fled the scene and was located a short time later at the Monument Mountain Motel and taken into custody by Officer Samuel Stolzar. The victim was transported to an area hospital for injuries, which were not believed to be life-threatening, sustained during the home invasion.

Thorpe was held on $10,000 bail pending his arraignment in Southern Berkshire District Court, which took place Thursday.

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A red-tailed hawk in flight. Photo: Jonathan Eckerson

Reward offered in illegal shooting of protected red-tailed hawk in Massachusetts

Auburn — The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of $2,500 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for illegally shooting a protected red-tailed hawk.

On Oct. 8, an Auburn animal control officer received a report of a juvenile red-tailed hawk found with an injured right wing in a residential neighborhood near Bryn Mawr Avenue and Prospect Parkway. The bird was examined at Tufts Wildlife Clinic, where it was found to have multiple fractures and compromised blood supply to the wing, necessitating humane euthanasia. Poaching is a violation of the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Killing a red-tailed hawk is punishable by a fine up to $15,000 and/or six months in prison.

“This disturbing incident highlights the urgent need for the passage of S.2248, a bill to enter Massachusetts into a nationwide law enforcement network called the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, and to strengthen outdated penalties for hunting violations in the Commonwealth,” said Stephanie Harris, Massachusetts and Rhode Island state director for the Humane Society of the United States.

Auburn Animal Control is working in conjunction with the Massachusetts Environmental Police and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to investigate this case. Anyone with relevant information is asked to contact animal control Officer Aimee Contois at (508) 832-7703 or acontois@town.auburn.ma.us.


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