Suspect in pliers attack in Northampton last fall ordered held

Hampshire County Courthouse

Hampshire County Courthouse GAZETTE FILE PHOTO


Staff Writer

Published: 01-17-2024 1:21 PM

Modified: 01-22-2024 11:39 AM

NORTHAMPTON — A Ware man will remain incarcerated following arraignment in Hampshire Superior Court on charges stemming from a murderous assault on the mother of his child outside the Northampton police station in October.

Judge Edward McDonough agreed to the commonwealth’s motion to hold Russell Mayo, 41, without the right to bail due to dangerousness. Mayo, through his attorney, Jon Heyman, did not contest the motion.

A grand jury indicted Mayo last month on charges of armed assault to murder, mayhem and three counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and his case was moved up to Superior Court. He has been held without bail since his arraignment Oct. 20 in Northampton District Court.

In the affidavit in support of her motion for pretrial detention, Assistant District Attorney Erin Aiello stated that Mayo attacked the woman without provocation in the presence of their 3-year-old son.

As part of a restraining order the woman had against Mayo, they typically would pick up or drop off the boy inside the Ware police station. On this occasion, the woman had asked to change the site to the Northampton station.

Mayo first dumped a hot drink on the woman, while repeatedly apologizing, then began hitting her, according to the affidavit. She told investigators she didn’t realize at first what he was hitting her with.

When Northampton Officer Brent Dzialo came out of the station, he saw two women and a child coming toward him. One of the women was bleeding heavily from the head and neck and saying the father of her child had stabbed her numerous times with needle-nose pliers.

The woman who was helping her later told police she was saying, “I told them he was going to kill me.”

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Other officers responded and found two passersby holding another man, Mayo, down on the ground. He had blood on his hands and was arrested.

The woman was taken to Baystate Medical Center and treated for multiple stab wounds — near her collarbone, in her upper arm, back, left wrist and right hand, thigh, lower leg, cheekbone and the top of her head.

Two weeks later, suffering continued pain, the woman went back to Baystate, and required surgery due to her injuries.

In court Tuesday, McDonough also approved a defense motion for up to $5,000 in court funds to pay for an assessment of Mayo’s competency and criminal responsibility by a clinical psychologist.

James Pentland can be reached at