PITTSFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - We continue to follow breaking news tonight out of Pittsfield where the search continues for a missing prisoner.
The inmate escaped police custody while at a hospital yesterday and he’s still on the loose and considered dangerous.
Berkshire County Sheriff Thomas Bowler wants to reassure the public they are doing everything in their power to locate the inmate, especially considering his previous criminal history.
"Just a little apprehensive, being cautious," says one Pittsfield resident.
"Paying attention to what’s behind me. Looking to the left, looking to the right," one Pittsfield resident tells us.
Residents in Pittsfield tell Western Mass News they left their homes with a bit more caution today after hearing the news of an inmate, 33-year-old Harry Chandler, Jr., escaping from the Berkshire Medical Center Monday afternoon.
Donna Rocca says she first heard about it through an automated call from the Pittsfield Police Department.
"I got a couple of them, first saying that they were actively searching. In the second one, saying that he had not yet been caught," says Rocca.
In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Berkshire County Sheriff Thomas Bowler made it clear that this wasn't a case they were taking lightly, considering Chandler’s criminal past.
"The specifics about Mr. Chandler‘s criminal history, we believe that he has some assaulted behavior, but he’s obviously a concern for us. We hope to apprehend him as soon as possible," stated Sheriff Bowler.
Western Mass News requested the court records of Chandler from the Pittsfield District Court.
We found he has eight open court cases, including assault and battery, fleeing police officers, failing to register as a sex offender, and, most recently, breaking and entering with larceny, but that is just scratching the surface.
We dug deeper and found twenty-two closed court cases, the latest dating back to 2005.
According to Sheriff Bowler, they have no reason to believe he has left the Pittsfield area.
At this time, the Berkshire County Sheriff's office, Pittsfield Police Department, State Police, and the Berkshire County District Attorney's office are working together to help locate chandler.
"If approached by Mr. Chandler, we're asking the public to notify us or any of the three agencies," added Chief Bowler.
We’re told the investigation team has roughly fifty officers in the field chasing any and every lead.
We’ll continue to follow developments and bring you the very latest both on air and online.