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UPDATED: Police say Bernardston man who removed tracking device nabbed

  • Police outside River Maple Farm in Bernardston Tuesday morning. STAFF PHOTO/MAX MARCUS

  • Police responded to a second tip late Tuesday afternoon that fugitive Antonio Candello had been seen in the woods around Couch Brook Road and Haigis Branch Road. STAFF PHOTO/MAX MARCUS

  • Police responded Tuesday morning to River Maple Farm in Bernardston, on a tip that fugitive Antonio Candello had been seen there. STAFF PHOTO/MAX MARCUS

Staff Writer
Published: 5/15/2019 11:00:22 AM

BERNARDSTON — Police caught fugitive Antonio Candello around 9 p.m. Tuesday night, after searching all day in the woods on the west side of Route 5, north of central Bernardston.

Candello, 49, had been sought by Bernardston Police and Massachusetts State Police since Friday after an alleged domestic assault and battery at his home. It is believed he fled into the woods and cut off his court-ordered ankle monitoring bracelet before seeking refuge at an abandoned cabin, according to a statement released Wednesday by State Police.

Following his arrest, Candello was transported to the Shelburne Falls Barracks for booking. He was charged with the following warrant out of Greenfield District Court: assault and battery with dangerous weapon; assault and battery on family/household member; strangulation or suffocation; and intimidate a witness/juror/Police/court official.

Candello was also charged with the following warrant out of Franklin Superior Court: rape of a child with force; and indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or over.

He was held without bail at the Franklin County House of Correction until his arraignment today in Greenfield District Court.

Candello successfully evaded police in two separate searches earlier Tuesday but was finally caught after state police got a tip that he had been spotted in the woods around Haigis Branch Road, in a cabin that police had checked earlier.

The first call came Tuesday morning around 11 a.m., said Bernardston Police Chief Jim Palmeri, after someone said they had spoken to Candello at River Maple Farm, at 250 Brattleboro Road (Route 5).

Responding at the farm with Bernardston Police were Bernardston Fire, Gill Police, Greenfield Police and Fire, state police and several search dogs. Greenfield Police used a remote-control drone to survey the woods behind the farm. A state police helicopter was brought in.

The search turned up nothing and was called off around 3:45 p.m., Chief Palmeri said.

Around 4:45 p.m. police got another call, saying that Candello had been spotted again, still on the west side of Route 5, now further north, in the area of Couch Brook Road and Haigis Branch Road.

Police searched the area with dogs for about two hours but found nothing. A cabin in the woods was double-checked before police left.

Around 9 p.m. Tuesday state police returned to the cabin on a tip that Candello had been seen there. Troopers Anthony Lavigne and Michael Szawlowski found him inside. Due to the remote location, troopers had to walk a quarter-mile via a trail without access to cell phones and radio coverage.

Reach Max Marcus at or 413-772-0261 ex 261.

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