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Addiction in Franklin County

Turners Falls man charged with beating 61-year-old man over $20 heroin debt

GREENFIELD — A Turners Falls man wound up on the wrong side of the law twice in one day: first for drug possession, then for beating an older man with a golf club to collect a drug debt, according to police.

In Greenfield District Court on Tuesday, Oscar Ramirez, 26, of 60 Central St., pleaded innocent to charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on a victim over 60, assault and battery to collect a debt, possession of heroin and possession of Viagra.

Ramirez was arrested just before 1 p.m. Monday in the parking lot of the Windmill Motel in Bernardston, after giving a false name to police and trying to hide drugs under the dashboard of his girlfriend’s car, according to a report by Bernardston Police Chief James Palmeri.

Palmeri had gone to the hotel in search of Ramirez with state police as backup, though his report gave no indication as to why. Calls to Palmeri were not returned.

Ramirez began making suspicious movements after Palmeri asked him for his name, and he struggled with troopers as they removed him from the car, Palmeri wrote. During a pat frisk, police found a pill bottle in his pants pocket, containing 11 bags of heroin and a single pill of Viagra, commonly used for treating impotence, according to the report. A bag of marijuana and a fully packed pipe were also found on Ramirez and confiscated, Palmeri wrote.

Ramirez was taken in for booking and later released.

Around 4:30 p.m. the same day, Greenfield police were called to 123 Davis St., where a caller reported an assault and battery.

Officers spoke to the resident and alleged victim Donald Poinsett, 61, who told them that Ramirez had come to his apartment to collect a $20 heroin debt, and beat him with his own 6-iron golf club and his fists before fleeing, according to a report by Sgt. James Rode.

Poinsett was arrested on a warrant from the Holyoke District Court and taken in for booking. There, he began to complain about pain to his left arm, where he had been struck with the golf club while shielding his face from the attack, wrote Rode.

Court documents indicated that Poinsett suffered an “apparent broken bone,” though Rode’s report made no mention of a fracture.

Greenfield police issued a be-on-the-lookout order for Ramirez and his girlfriend, Kirsten Sweeney, 23, of Lake Pleasant, who allegedly vandalized Poinsett’s residence by removing and destroying a window screen, according to Rode’s report.

The two were later found in Bernardston, and taken into custody for the Greenfield charges.

Sweeney was charged with vandalizing property, and held on $100 cash bail. She and Ramirez are set to return to court July 7 for pretrial conferences.

You can reach David Rainville at: drainville@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 279 On Twitter, follow @RecorderRain

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