Police detain Buckland man for second alleged strangling incident

Staff Writer
Published: 7/23/2019 10:13:17 PM

BUCKLAND — A man is being held without bail after a second alleged instance of strangling a household member since December.

The Buckland Police Department arrested Mark Brown, 40, of Buckland, after several days spent looking for him, Police Chief James Hicks confirmed.

Brown was arraigned in Greenfield District Court last week, where Judge Laurie MacLeod ordered he be held without bail based on dangerousness. He is due back in court Aug. 6 for a pretrial hearing.

On July 12, police arrived at 34 Creamery Ave. after a call from a woman living with Brown, who claimed he threw things at her, dislocated her shoulder, held her down and said, “I’m going to (expletive) kill you,” while strangling her with his hands, according to a police narrative in court documents.

Police who responded found the reporting party but not Brown. According to the narrative written by Sgt. Kurt Gilmore, he requested additional officers to the scene, including a Massachusetts State Police K-9 unit. Police had a heightened sense of caution due to the caller’s statements that Brown may have a firearm and has sniper experience from his prior service in the U.S. Army.

Brown was not found that night, or for several more days as local police scoured the town for his vehicle, and a county-wide BOLO — “be on the lookout” — was issued.

Hicks declined to immediately provide details on Brown’s apprehension when contacted by the Greenfield Recorder on Tuesday, but confirmed he had indeed been found and arrested.

Brown was charged with assault and battery on a family/household member, strangulation or suffocation, threatening to commit a crime and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon — for allegedly throwing a “shelf and household items,” according to police.

The alleged victim was treated at the hospital for minor injuries, but said she was able to “pop” her shoulder back into place, and did not have any internal bleeding, broken bones or bruising detectable by an X-ray.

The alleged incident is the second since December in which Brown allegedly strangled a household member. On Dec. 23, 2018, Brown was arrested after claims from his 4-year-old son that Brown had choked him.

The boy was placed in state custody after showing up to school with visible marks indicative of strangulation. When asked about marks around his eyes and cheeks, the boy said, “I do not feel safe at my dad’s,” and, “He covered my mouth, and I couldn’t breathe,” adding that such alleged abuse had happened “a whole bunch of times,” according to court documents.

Brown was allowed bail after that arrest and has been permitted visits with the child supervised by the state’s Department of Children & Families.

Under Massachusetts law, “strangulation or suffocation” does not imply death, and has been a separate felony charge from assault or attempted murder since 2014, when Gov. Deval Patrick signed a bill creating new criminal charges related to domestic violence.

Prior to the bill’s passage, strangulation fell under the charge of simple assault and battery, a misdemeanor, unless the defendant was charged with attempted murder.

Reach David McLellan at 413-772-0261, ext. 268 or dmclellan@recorder.com.

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