Lawn Clippings Lead to Stabbing
A dispute between Pittsfield neighbors over yard clippings lead to a stabbing, leaving both men with minor injuries.
According to The Berkshire Eagle, Joseph Burke, 55 and Steven Durkee, 59 both residents of Newtown Ave in Pittsfield, got into an altercation after Burke came home to find a pile of grass and lawn clippings in his yard. Burke had just cleaned his yard, and believed his neighbor Durkee was responsible for the mess. Burke's son, Jacob Burke, said that this is not the first incident they've had with Durkee, saying "poisoned his two dogs, put nails in his driveway, and even put a dead animal in his backyard" according to the periodical.
Burke's son told Pittsfield Police that this incident began when his father confronted Durkee about the yard clippings. An argument ensued and Durkee "threw himself at his father and slashed him in the face." That's when the younger Burke stepped in and punched Durkee hard enough to knock him down, which is when Durkee allegedly also stabbed Joseph Burke in the leg. At that point Joseph Burke pulled out his gun and pointed it at Durkee.
Durkee however gave officers a different account of the course of events, saying that he only stabbed Burke after he threatened him with his gun.
After collecting reports from the men involved and from witnesses, including a cellphone video of part of the incident, police made "the determination that Durkee was the aggressor" and arrested and charged him with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
Joseph Burke, who police say has an active license to carry, faces no charges in the incident.