Suspect arrested after allegedly dropping gun on Herberg Middle School lawn during police chase
Adam C. Masefield, 30, was driving a gray Ford Escort near Linden and Center streets about 5:30 a.m. when officers spotted him and suspected his license was suspended, according to court documents. After confirming the suspension, officers tried to pull the car over as it turned from First Street onto Hamlin, but Masefield sped away.
He led officers on a chase that went from Hamlin to Second street and continued on East, Willis, Fenn, Depot, Center, Elizabeth streets, Baystate Road, South and Crofut streets and onto Pomeroy Avenue. During the pursuit, Masefield drove at excessive speed and ran multiple stop signs and red lights.
He eventually stopped in front of Herberg Middle School and led police on a foot chase onto the school's property, where Masefield dropped a black handgun before being caught, police said. The weapon, identified as a .380 Taurus PT63S, had six rounds in the magazine, but none in the chamber.
Masefield has no firearms identification card or license to carry, police said.
There also was a female passenger in the car, but she was allowed to leave after police determined she was not involved.
Masefield entered not guilty pleas in Central Berkshire District Court on Wednesday to charges of carrying a loaded firearm without a license, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license (subsequent offense) and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Kyle Christiansen asked Judge William Rota to revoke Masefield's bail on an open case of receiving stolen property from October 2016 and to set bail at $5,000 in his new case. In the older case, he is accused of selling a stolen ring to a jeweler.
Christiansen said not only was Masefield driving recklessly during the pursuit, but he dropped the gun on the property of a middle school, where it could have been found by a student if police hadn't spotted it first.
He said Masefield showed "a lack of regard for the safety of the community at large."
Christiansen said Masefield has a lengthy criminal record, and has the incentive to flee considering the seriousness of the charges he already faces as well as the possibility of more coming.
Masefield's attorney, Jennifer Tyne, recommended no revocation and a bail of $500.
She said despite Masefield's record, and many court appearances, he has only failed to appear once and does not have the means to flee the area, even if he wanted to.
Rota said under the circumstances, the state's request to revoke bail was reasonable.
"I'm concerned about a defendant with open charges fleeing from police with a loaded gun," he said. He revoked Masefield's prior bail and set a $2,500 bail on his new charges.
Masefield is due back in court on May 24 for a pretrial hearing.
Wednesday's incident is the second arrest this week involving a police chase and a dropped or discarded weapon.
On Monday evening, a vehicle fled a traffic stop and a handgun was allegedly tossed from the window of the moving vehicle, which was later recovered by police.
Four people who were in that vehicle were arraigned in Central Berkshire District Court on Tuesday on weapons and cocaine trafficking charges.
Reach staff writer Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249 or @BobDunn413 on Twitter.
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