NORTH ADAMS -- A Boston man accused of stabbing and robbing a Connecticut cab driver in North Adams was arrested Wednesday and arraigned Thursday in Northern Berkshire District Court.
Berthony Jean Baptiste, 21, of Harrison Avenue, Boston, was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, armed robbery and larceny over $250.
Judge Michael Ripps set bail at $50,000 cash or $500,000 assurity. Baptiste will be held for at least 90 days for violating the terms of his release on a separate charge in Somerville District Court.
Baptiste faces up to 15 years in prison if he's convicted of all charges.
North Adams Police Detective Mark Bailey stated in his report that Baptiste stabbed the taxi driver late Monday evening after paying him $240 for a ride from Hartford, Conn., to North Adams.
The cab driver stopped near Brayton Field, Bailey stated, where the alleged attack took place.
The driver told police Baptiste reached through a gap in the cab's plexiglass divider and attempted to stab him in the stomach. The driver was able to deflect the knife with his hand and suffered several lacerations.
Baptiste also allegedly stole the driver's cell phone before he got out of the taxi and ran.
A K-9 unit was brought to the scene to search the grounds near where the attack occurred while a helicopter searched the area using thermal imaging but were unable to find a suspect.
Police established a profile of the suspect using photo images caught by the camera inside the cab.
Bailey stated he located Baptiste on Wednesday by using the locator feature of the driver's cellphone, which gives a 3,000 meter range.
Once in the area of the cell phone, neighbors led Bailey to an apartment at Brayton Hill Terrace, close to where Baptiste was allegedly dropped off by the taxi driver Monday night.
Baptiste is also facing charges in Somerville District Court for an alleged indecent of assault and battery near Boston. Baptiste is accused of harassing a Tufts University student on its campus last year.
Judge Ripps upheld a motion by Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Daniel Hespeler to revoke the $10,000 bail that was set in the Somerville case. Hespeler said that Baptiste had violated the conditions of his release from Somerville by allegedly committing the crime in North Adams.
A bail hearing on the Somerville charges is scheduled for Dec. 11.
Baptiste was determined to be "dangerous" by the Somerville Court in August and assigned a probation officer.
There is no information about Baptiste's release in the criminal docket provided to Northern Berkshire District Court by the Somerville District Court. It is unclear at this time why there have been no hearings in the Somerville case following Baptiste's arraignment last year.
A pretrial hearing in the North Adams case is scheduled for Oct. 11.
To reach Adam Shanks email,
413-663-3741 ext. 225