Area police news
Farmer says someone
is letting his cows out
SOUTHAMPTON — The farmer whose cows damaged flags and flower arrangements in Center Cemetery Monday said the animals escaped their pasture because someone opened the gate. And it’s not the first time.
“That was the third time in three days,” said Henry Wykowski of Strong Road. “This is a two-legged problem.”
Wykowski said that when Southampton police called at 9 a.m. to inform him that a few of his cows were loose near Center Cemetery, he hurried back to town, rounded them up and brought them back to their High Street pasture, only to find the gate was wide open.
“Someone opened the gate and they were curious and just walked out,” he said of his cows.
In response to the three recent incidents, he tied the gate shut with barbed wire Monday, so it can no longer be opened. He said not being able to use the gate is inconvenient for him, but since then, he hasn’t had any more issues with loose cows.
— REBECCA EVERETT
Big Lots evacuated
due to gas leak
NORTHAMPTON — Big Lots store on North King Street was evacuated for about 15 minutes Wednesday afternoon after an employee smelled gas outside the building.
Deputy Fire Chief David Gagne said Columbia Gas workers determined there was a small leak was from gas pipes in back of the building. Though it turned out the people in the store were never in danger, store staff did the right thing in evacuating them, Gagne said.
A store manager called 911 to report the smell of gas at 1:47 p.m. and was advised by the dispatcher to evacuate the store as a precaution. The Fire Department used gas meters to check for gas inside Big Lots and next-door Wal-Mart and found no fumes in either store, Gagne said.
Columbia Gas workers told the Fire Department the leak was not dangerous, and people were allowed back inside at 2:10 p.m., when firefighters left the scene. Columbia Gas workers were still there fixing the problem at 3 p.m.
— REBECCA EVERETT
∎ Benjamin T. Lombardi-Barrell, 32, of Montague, was arrested about 5:52 p.m. Tuesday on Locust Street on a Northampton District Court warrant related to a failure to pay fines, police said.
∎ Isheika M. Hackett, 33, of 491 Bridge Road, Apt. 2814, Florence, was arrested about 1:02 p.m. Tuesday at home on a warrant issued from Eastern Hampshire District Court on charges of operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license and operating a motor vehicle with suspended registration.
∎ Police are investigating a housebreak on Gunn Road Extension that was reported Saturday at 6:56 p.m. The door was forced open and a coin collection, jewelry and $200 in gift cards were taken, police said.
∎ Robert L. Keach Jr., 31, of 143 East River Road, Middlefield, and William M. O’Connor IV, 35, of Huntington, were arrested on charges of larceny from a person after they allegedly grabbed a woman’s purse from her shopping cart in the Big Y supermarket parking lot Jan. 20 at 4:09 p.m.
∎ Police received a report Jan. 18 at 2:45 p.m. that a purse had been taken from a home on Pequot Road while the owners were not home.