Pittsfield officer accused of beating up man, writing up false report pleads not guilty

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (NEWS10) – An 18 year veteran of the Pittsfield Police Department pleaded not guilty to allegations of criminal misconduct.

Officer Michael McHugh, 42, is on paid leave after being accused of beating up a 54-year-old man while off duty and then filing a false report about it two days later.

“Obviously he adamantly denies the charges. We’ll have our day in court.” Attorney Timothy Shugrue said.

Shugrue says Officer McHugh did the right thing when the alleged victim was driving around drunk in his Cascade Street neighborhood.

“He made some movements and he tried to remove him from the car.”

He claims McHugh called the police who didn’t respond quick enough. When they did, the alleged victim was arrested.

No one from the Pittsfield Police Department would speak with NEWS10 ABC on camera. In a release, Chief Michael Wynn said:

“Whenever the Pittsfield Police Department becomes aware of alleged misconduct by any of our members, we take those allegations very seriously.”

The department says all further information has to come from the solicitor’s office in City Hall. City Hall then directed us to city attorney Richard Dohoney, who would not comment on the matter.

Shugrue says the timing of this, a year after the incident, is suspicious on the alleged victim’s part.

“He has a lawyer that he wants to sue the city that he’s contacted and reached out to us for a monetary settlement, which we are absolutely not interested in.”

Daniel Besse, a local, wants the public to learn exactly what happened and will hold his judgment until then.

“You can do a million things good and one thing you can do bad, people will never forget that,” Besse said.

McHugh has been ordered to stay away from the victim as he awaits the outcome of his case.

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