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Cassidy Michalski of Deerfield denies charges in alleged theft of cash from Girl Scout troop

Cassidy Michalski of 18 Hoosac Road pleaded not guilty to charges of unarmed robbery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (motor vehicle) and shoplifting before Hampshire Superior Court Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder.

Michalski is free on $5,000 bail already posted on the conditions he has no contact with the alleged victims, stays away from Wal-Mart in Northampton and avoids drugs and submits to random screenings.

He is due back in court on June 26 for a pre-trial hearing.

According to the Northwestern district attorney’s office, Michalski and a co-defendant, Nicholas Taverna, 22, of Greenfield, drove to Holyoke Jan. 19 in the hopes of trading cellphones Taverna stole from Wal-Mart for drugs.

When that plan failed, police said, they returned to Wal-Mart, where they had seen a Girl Scout troop selling cookies in the lobby, police said.

Michalski waited in his car while Taverna allegedly grabbed a cash box containing about $392 from the table and ran.

Taverna allegedly jumped into the car while being chased by an adult Scout leader.

Michalski allegedly drove off while the troop leader was still holding onto the passenger side of the car, dragging him for a short distance before he let go, leaving him with a broken nose and cuts and scrapes to his hand and arm.

Taverna is scheduled to be arraigned March 25, according to Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Jayme Parent, who is prosecuting both cases.

Bob Dunn can be reached at bdunn@gazettenet.com.

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