Pittsfield man charged with Battery, Assault in death of YMCA resident


PITTSFIELD, Mass. (NEWS10) – Police in Berkshire County said a night of drinking ended with one man dead and another locked up on an assault charge.

It all started with a 911 call for help from the YMCA apartments in Pittsfield around 2:30 a.m. Sunday. When EMTs arrived, they found 44-year-old Joseph Wirtes in this third floor apartment unresponsive and bleeding from the nose.

He died hours later at the hospital.

Police arrested 27-year-old Brian Signor, of Pittsfield.

According to court documents, one of Wirtes’s neighbors told police that she, Signor and Wirtes had been drinking together from Saturday night into Sunday morning. Things then spun out of control and ended with Signor punching Wirtes in the face and choking him.

YMCA resident Doug Ladouceur said Signor was visiting his mother, who’s also a resident and friend of Wirtes.

“It’s really sad because Brian probably didn’t mean to do what he done because there was alcohol involved,” he said.

On Thursday, Signor posted a photo of four bottles of vodka and said he was starting his weekend early.

But the sober reality of what police said happened seemed to settle in Sunday afternoon. On Facebook, he wrote, “I didn’t do what everyone thinks I did. It was stupid how it played out. I’m not that type of person.”

At his father’s apartment, he told NEWS10 ABC he had little to say about his son’s arrest.

“Disappointed,” was all he had to say.

Signor pleaded not guilty to the felony charge of Assault and Battery, the only charges he’s facing.

The Berkshire County District Attorney said additional charges may come after autopsy results are returned.

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