According to a press release from the Massachusetts State Police, shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday March 19, Massachusetts State Police Troopers assigned to the State Police-Cheshire Barracks were notified that North Adams Police were seeking two male suspects who fled after attempting to return stolen merchandise worth nearly $2,000 to a Walmart. The suspects fled in a pickup truck as North Adams Police responded to the store, prompting a pursuit through several towns by North Adams, Adams, and Cheshire Police. State Troopers began responding to the pursuit area to assist if needed, but did not engage in active pursuit.
Shortly after 2:15 p.m. responding units lost the suspect vehicle, a black Ford 150 pickup truck with Florida plates, in the area of North Street at Hancock Road in Pittsfield. About 20 minutes later officers located the suspect vehicle abandoned in the area of Route 20. A short time later police developed information that the suspects were inside Enterprise Rent-a-Car on East Street in Pittsfield.
A Trooper assigned to the State Police Berkshire Community Action Team, immediately responded to Enterprise and observed two men matching the suspects’ description inside. As she entered the business, both suspects ran out separate doors. One, later identified as an Arnold Chapman, fled onto East Street. The second suspect, later identified as Shannon Brown, 33, of Tampa, Florida, ran down a hall and began to exit a side door. As the Trooper reached Brown, the suspect assaulted her, broke free, and ran in the direction of Cove Street. The Trooper responded to Cove Street and learned that the suspect had run toward another street, Root Place. The Trooper broadcast the suspect’s direction of flight.
Massachusetts State Police patrols and K9 Units, along with Pittsfield Police patrols and K9 units and members of the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Department, responded and established a perimeter. K9 units began tracking both suspects.
At approximately 4:30 p m. State Police units were notified that a Pittsfield Police K9 unit had located and detained suspect Brown on Root Place. Troopers responded to assist. The Trooper who initially located Brown and his accomplice in the Enterprise business positively identified him as the suspect who assaulted her and fled. Troopers collected additional items of potential evidence near the Enterprise location.
Brown, who initially gave his name to Troopers and officers as “Alstin Guice” and had Florida driver’s license in that name, was transported to State Police-Cheshire for booking. At the barracks, “Guice” was correctly identified as Shannon Brown, 33, of Tampa through the fingerprinting process. During the booking process, Troopers located $4,210 in cash on Brown, who stated that he was unemployed and just passing through Massachusetts.
Further investigation revealed that Brown and the second suspect, Chapman, were allegedly involved in a shoplifting scheme in North Adams and Pittsfield. Troopers also determined that Brown was the subject of a Phoenix, Arizona warrant charging him with the crime of fraudulent schemes, artifices and theft. Troopers notified Arizona authorities of Brown’s arrest, and they indicated their intention to expedite him to face charges in their state.
State Police charged Brown with assault and battery on a police officer; providing a false name to police; and as a fugitive from justice. He was transported to the Berkshire County House of Correction and was expected to be arraigned in Pittsfield District Court today.
The second suspect, Chapman, was arrested separately by Pittsfield Police and was likewise expected in court today. Media are referred to Pittsfield Police for his information.
The investigation of the shoplifting incidents is being conducted by local police.