Turners Falls man arraigned on kidnapping, assault charges


Staff Writer

Published: 07-29-2021 5:05 PM

GREENFIELD — A Turners Falls man who was arrested after allegedly beating a man for five hours while interrogating him over alleged stolen marijuana pleaded not guilty Thursday and is being held without the right to bail pending an Aug. 6 dangerousness hearing.

Miguel D. Russell, 22, was arraigned in Greenfield District Court on charges of assault and battery, assault with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping, intimidation of a witness/juror/police/court official and larceny under $1,200.

According to a police report by Montague Police Officer Cody Wells, at 5:27 p.m. on Tuesday, July 27, Wells was dispatched to the F.L. Roberts gas station at 132 Third St. on a call of a young man who used the gas station’s phone to report he had been kidnapped and assaulted. The man allegedly told Wells he had visited the apartment of a man he recently befriended — later identified as Russell — and was immediately accused of stealing something, later identified as marijuana. The reporting party claimed that Russell sat him in a chair and started punching him in the chest and stomach.

Wells observed “some fresh red marks to the victim’s abdomen and chest,” and a small laceration and “some blue and black color” around his right eye. Wells reportedly asked the victim if he had been punched in the face and the victim responded, “Maybe, but I don’t remember.”

The man estimates he was held in the apartment for five hours while Russell continued an interrogation-like assault, while other people in the apartment stood around and blocked the door. The victim reportedly said Russell threatened to shoot up the apartment and kill the victim’s family if he called the police.

The victim said he was eventually able to leave the apartment and get to the gas station to call 911. He reportedly noted to Wells his gray LG G6 smartphone and black and blue Trek bicycle were still at the apartment.

The victim told Montague Police Sgt. James Deery that Russell had allegedly brandished a silver and black chef’s knife and paced around with it, threatening to stab him. The victim also told Deery he was having difficulty hearing out of his left ear. He was evaluated by first responders with the Turners Falls Fire Department and AMR ambulance, and transported to Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield. Photographs of the victim’s face, chest and abdomen were taken in the interview room.

According to Wells’ report, the Montague Police Department has, over the past three months, received two other calls regarding Russell and knives. Russell has five open cases on charges of unarmed robbery, assault and battery, witness intimidation, and threatening to commit a crime.

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According to Montague Police Detective Sgt. Joshua Hoffman, the victim received a text at approximately 3 p.m. to stop by the apartment. The victim reportedly said he was repeatedly punched, kicked and slapped, and he eventually told Russell he had in fact stolen the marijuana in hopes the assault would end. He initially stated Russell was the only person in the apartment during the assault, but later clarified that the female apartment renter and another woman were also present. The victim allegedly told Hoffman that at some point Russell left the apartment and came back with a man.

Russell is being represented by attorney Lucy DeLaCour. Northwestern Assistant District Attorney Ryan Scott was in Greenfield District Court on Thursday representing the state in this case.