Man charged with parking meter decapitation

GREENFIELD — A Greenfield man pleaded not guilty in Greenfield District Court on Monday to charges stemming from an alleged violent domestic dispute followed by the discovery of two disembodied parking meters in a nearby Dumpster over the weekend.

Chad R. James, 35, of 26 Crescent St. Apt. 3, faces a charge of assault and battery, two felony charges of breaking into a depository, malicious destruction of property over $250 and larceny less than $250.

According to the report filed by Sgt. David Rice, he and two officers were dispatched to 26 Crescent St. for a neighbor’s report of a stabbing, which proved to be scratches to the back of James’ girlfriend’s hand.

The woman reported they had struggled during an argument over issues including his theft of parking meters earlier in the week, after which he took a number of pills.

Rice wrote James appeared to be under the influence of a narcotic and falling asleep as police spoke to him, and sent James to the hospital under a Sect. 12 involuntary mental health evaluation.

A search of Dumpsters in the area turned up the heads of two or three parking meters his girlfriend said he had taken from Hope and Osgood streets. Police found the locks to the meters in folds of cloth inside a baby carriage James allegedly uses to collect cans, according to the report.

Judge William F. Mazanec III remanded James to the Franklin County House of Correction pending an April 23 court date in lieu of $300 cash bail or $3,000 surety.

You can reach Chris Curtis at: or 413-772-0261, ext. 257

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