NORTH ADAMS -- A police investigation of an alleged armed assault and kidnapping Friday prompted Northern Berkshire District Court to issue arrest warrants for two Troy, N.Y., men on Monday.
Barton Jones and Leonard Ellis, 31 and 42, of Hoosick and 4th streets in Troy, N.Y., are suspected of beating and robbing a male city resident, and then kidnapping a city woman, before fleeing the scene of an apartment building Friday.
Reports say the two men made it all the way back to Troy, N.Y., with the woman in tow, before they were arrested after being stopped by police for a traffic violation Friday, at 9:45 p.m.
Victim interviews recorded by Det. John LeClair of the North Adams Police Department on Jan. 5 indicate the alleged crimes were drug motivated.
The two "needed drugs and were sick" the woman said in one report filed by LeClair.
Jones and Ellis are each charged with armed robbery, kidnapping, assault and battery and assault with a dangerous weapon. They've been remanded to Rensselaer County Jail in Troy, according to the New York State Police, and it's not yet known when they'll be arraigned locally.
According to police reports, the woman had planned to meet the man who was beaten, a friend, at her apartment Friday to borrow $50 for living expenses.
The man was met in the stairwell of the building by two unfamiliar men, Jones and Ellis, upon his arrival at 7:15 p.m., the reports says. After a short exchange, he attempted to flee, feeling threatened.
One of the men then allegedly began striking him in the face while the other threatened him with a six-inch steak knife.
The report continues, saying Jones and Ellis took $390 from the man and left the building, pursued by the woman, who'd been alerted to the situation and had tried to stop the assault.
The woman said she did not know either of the attackers.
Outside, Jones and Ellis allegedly forced the woman -- who was demanding they return the man's money -- into their vehicle, a dark Volkswagen Jetta with Virginia plates.
They traveled through Vermont to New York and were stopped by Troy police for following another vehicle too closely. The woman was returned to the city by police.
Though it remains unclear why Jones and Ellis knew the man would visit the woman's apartment Friday, the woman told LeClair she'd spoken to a former acquaintance earlier in the afternoon who she alleged is involved in the local drug culture. This person, the woman said further, could have heard her speaking to meet the man who was later beaten, and gone on to arrange the robbery.
To reach Phil Demers, email