- Berkshire District Attorney's Office
Media Contact for Berkshire District Attorney’s Office Secures Conviction Of Man Who Escaped Custody
Andy McKeever, Public Information Officer
BERKSHIRE COUNTY — The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office secured on Monday the conviction of a Pittsfield man who assaulted multiple people when he escaped Sheriff’s custody and evaded law enforcement for three days.
Harry Chandler, 35, pleaded guilty in Berkshire Superior Court to single counts of escape from a penal institution, assault and battery on a correctional officer, assault and battery on a person over the age of 60, and assault and battery. Judge John Agostini sentenced Chandler to two to four years in state prison.
“These convictions reflect that the Berkshire District Attorney’s office takes violence against front line health care workers and correctional officers very seriously.” District Attorney Andrea Harrington said.
“I thank all of the law enforcement agencies involved in the exhaustive search and apprehension of Mr. Chandler. This effort demonstrates their dedication to protecting this community.”
Assistant District Attorney Joseph Yorlano prosecuted the case and requested a seven to the 10-year state prison sentence. The defense requested three years at the Berkshire County House of Correction.
The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office also secured convictions on all of Mr. Chandler’s district court cases. Chandler pleaded guilty to numerous charges and will serve concurrent jail time.
Sheriff’s Deputies transported Chandler from the jail to Berkshire Medical Center for medical care. On July 8, 2019, Chandler assaulted a correctional officer, a nurse, and another BMC staff member and fled the hospital.
A coordinated effort among multiple law enforcement agencies tracked and arrested Chandler three days later.
The agencies involved in the search include Pittsfield Police, Massachusetts State Police, Dalton, Lanesborough, Lee and Lenox Police, the Western Massachusetts Gang Task Force, the U.S. Marshal's Office, the New York State Police, Connecticut State Police, Millerton, and Colonie, N.Y. Police, the FBI, Massachusetts State Parole, the Hampden County Sheriff's Office, and the Berkshire County Sheriff's Office.
Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington’s office serves all 32 cities and towns in Berkshire County. The office represents the Commonwealth in more than 7,500 criminal cases per year in Berkshire Superior Court, three district courts, three juvenile courts, Massachusetts Appeals Court, and Supreme Judicial Court. The office works closely with the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office, the Berkshire Law Enforcement Task Force, and collaborates with local police departments across the county. A dedicated staff of more than 50 prioritizes public safety, empowering victims and witnesses through services and support, and building a safe community for everyone and especially the most vulnerable.