NORTH ADAMS -- A 49-year-old city man has been charged with driving drunk for the fourth time and disorderly conduct after allegedly threatening a police officer during his Monday night arrest.
Robert M. Harrison, of Ashland Street, was arraigned Tuesday in Northern Berkshire District Court on charges of fourth offense operating a motor vehicle under the influence of liquor (OUI), no inspection sticker, disorderly conduct, failure to stop for police and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.
Judge Michael Ripps set Harrison's bail at $5,000 cash or $50,000 surety due to the nature of his arrest and history of criminal offenses. He is being held at Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction and had not been released as of Tuesday evening.
The charges spring from Harrison's arrest Monday evening when police say he attempted to evade a city police officer trying to stop his vehicle and subsequently made threats against a second officer called in as backup.
According to reports, Officer Jonathan Beaudreau spotted a Hyundai Elantra covered in snow and failing to stop at the intersection of Ashland Street and American Legion Drive around 5 p.m. on Monday.
Beaudreau attempted to stop the vehicle on Ashland Street but it turned left onto Washington Avenue and then Spring Street before pulling over near 150 Ashland St., at which point Beaudreau had already radioed for additional officers.
Beaudreau's report notes he recognized upon approaching that Harrison, the vehicle's occupant, was intoxicated.
Police say Harrison then threatened city Officer Ben Austin, who'd arrived and was attempting to administer a field sobriety test.
"I'm ten times your size," Harrison said, according to the report, while "clenching his fists and leaning toward him."
Austin restrained Harrison, who then slipped on ice and hit his face on the Elantra's door, leaving him with a scratch.
Four nip bottles of Bailey's Irish Cream and several empty beers were found in Harrison's car, according to the report.
At the station, police say Harrison was found to have a blood alcohol content of .17, and "continued to threaten Officer Austin, asking for removal of hand cuffs so he could fight him" and at one point saying he would shoot Austin with a 9 mm handgun.
A follow-up search of Harrison's criminal record found that he'd previously been arrested for OUI in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Great Barrington and Mill River at different points during the 90s.
If found guilty, he faces up to two-and-a-half years in a house of correction and $25,000 in fines.
A pretrial hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 20.
To reach Phil Demers, email