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Transient man arrested on stolen car, gun charges in Greenfield

GREENFIELD —Police arrested a man they say was found sleeping in a stolen pickup, with a handgun and ammunition close at hand.

At 3:58 a.m. Thursday, Patrolman Jeremy Felton noticed an older blue GMC pickup with Mississippi plates parked in Wedgewood Gardens. Upon approaching the vehicle, he noticed that it was occupied by a man lying down in the driver’s seat, according to Felton’s police report.

Richard Alan Watson, 57, who told police he had been staying in town for about two weeks, was arrested on charges of receiving a stolen motor vehicle, possession of a firearm without a license, possession of ammunition without an FID card, use of a firearm in a felony (the stolen vehicle charge), and two outstanding warrants.

Finding Watson in the pickup, Felton ran the plate, and was notified by dispatchers that the vehicle had been reported stolen.

The driver told Felton he had borrowed the car from a friend, but was not able to get back to Mississippi to return it, and had since come to an agreement with the owner, according to Felton’s report.

When asked for identification, the man told Felton he did not have a driver’s license in his possession, and instead gave the patrolman his EBT card.

The man told police he was sleeping in the vehicle in the old trailer park because he had been arguing with his girlfriend, with whom he had been staying on Riverside Drive in Gill, wrote Felton.

When asked if there were any weapons in the car, wrote Felton, the man told officers there was an unloaded pistol between the truck’s seats. During a search of his person, police found five .25 caliber pistol rounds in his pocket. Between the seats were an unloaded .25 caliber handgun, and a clip for that gun containing 5 more .25 rounds, according to Felton. An 11th round was discovered in the truck’s door pocket, he wrote.

Watson’s outstanding warrants stem from a 1995 case in which he was charged with larceny over $250, and filing false reports to receive $12,179.74 in welfare payments, according to court documents. Those charges were continued without a finding at the time, and Watson was given probation.

According to court documents, he stopped checking in with probation in August of 1996, and had failed to pay $1,709.74 in restitution, as well as missing $50 monthly probation supervision payments since March of 1996.

Watson was arraigned Thursday in Greenfield District Court, and ordered held without bail until his next court date, on June 3.

David Rainville can be reached at:
or 413-772-0261, ext. 279

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