ATHOL – On Monday, Aug. 21, 2023, at 7:38 p.m., Detective Corey Chauvette of the Athol Police Department was working undercover in the Crescent Street area when he observed a “suspicious female” walking towards the bridges on Chestnut Hill Avenue.
(The account and quotations contained in this article were taken from the Personnel Narratives of Det. Chauvette and Officer Alexander Griffin.)
“The female party was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black pants,” Det. Chauvette said. “It should be noted that the female party had the hood up and was concealing her face. I found this to be unusual as it was mid-August and the temperature was still above 70 degrees. I observed others walking in the same area just prior to my encounter with the female party who were wearing shorts and a t-shirt. The female party appeared to be staggering and was watching each car as it drove by.”
As Det. Chauvette circled the block, looking for a place to surreptitiously park his cruiser, he saw the woman cutting through MassGrow’s parking lot, heading in the direction of the tunnel under the railroad tracks that leads to the parking lot of The Boston Garden Dispensary on Main Street.
“I pulled into the parking lot and exited my cruiser,” Det. Chauvette said. “As I approached the tunnel, I observed the female party walking up the tunnel. I identified myself as a police officer and displayed my badge. At this time, I was able to identify the female as Brandy Karras based on numerous recent interactions with Ms. Karras.”
Karras, 39, lives on Ridge Avenue in Athol.
Det. Chauvette told Karras that she needed to stop, but she continued walking.
“Ms. Karras attempted to walk past me and stated ‘you have not right to talk to me,’” Det. Chauvette said. “I again informed Ms. Karras that she needed to stop, however, she continued to try to walk past me towards Main Street. I informed Ms. Karras that she was under arrest and needed to stop. I reached out to grab onto Ms. Karras’ left arm, at which point she stated ‘you have no right to touch me’ and attempted to run.”
Unable to run, Karras tried to pull away from the officer, and said, “I am not going to jail.” Det. Chauvette responded by tackling her to the ground.
At about this time, Officer Alexander Griffin pulled into the parking lot. Officer Griffin called dispatch for additional backup and helped Det. Chauvette apprehend Karras.
“Officer Griffin was able to get Ms. Karras’ arms behind her back and placed her into handcuffs,” Det. Chauvette said. “Sergeant Jarret Mousseau and Officer Steven Adams arrived on scene to assist.”
When Karras’ information was called into dispatch, the responding officers learned that she had two active warrants out for her arrest. Police say she continued resisting arrest after she was handcuffed.
“It should be noted that Ms. Karras continued to be uncooperative and actively resistive toward Officer Griffin,” Det. Chauvette explained. “Prior to being placed in the rear of Officer Griffin’s marked cruiser, Ms. Karras was patted down for weapons. A knife was located in Ms. Karras’ pocket.”
The knife was black and grey with a skull on it. When opened, officers discovered it was also spring assisted.
Officer Griffin then transported Karras to the Athol Police Department for booking.
When Officer Griffin arrived at the station, he partially opened the back door where Karras sat and was attempting to lock the cruiser, when Karras – who had slipped out of her handcuffs – pushed the back door open and attempted to flee.
Officer Griffin grabbed onto Karras, brought her to the ground to control her, and got her back into handcuffs. A witness who happened to be walking by – later identified as Ryan Gravel – ran over to assist Officer Griffin in holding Karras to the ground.
At this time, Sgt. Mousseau, Det. Chauvette, and Officer Adams arrived at the police station’s parking lot and assisted Officer Griffin in getting Karras back on her feet and into the booking room.
According to Officer Griffin, Karras – who had a cut in her mouth from the altercation – spit blood onto Sgt. Mousseau’s pants and boots as she was being transported into the booking room.
“It should be noted that while she was being escorted, Ms. Karras was spitting blood in the direction of Sergeant Mousseau,” Det. Chauvette said. “I entered the booking room and observed Ms. Karras had a small amount of blood around her mouth and she stated that she wished to seek medical attention because ‘she was going to kill herself.’”
Det. Chauvette then transported Karras to Athol Hospital.
“Once at the hospital, Ms. Karras was uncooperative with hospital staff and refused all medical treatment, which was offered by Emergency Room Doctor Jason Greenbaum. Ms. Karras was released from the hospital due to her uncooperative behavior, at which point I transported her to the Franklin County House of Correction,” Det. Chauvette said.
Karras was held without bail in the Franklin County House of Correction.
In addition to the two warrants out for her arrest, Karras was charged with resisting arrest (two counts), disturbing the peace, and carrying a dangerous weapon (spring-assisted knife).
Karras was arraigned in Orange District Court on Aug. 22.
A bail hearing for Karras was held on Aug. 25. Her bail was set at $500 cash or $5,000 surety.
Karras attended a pretrial hearing on Sept. 19, which was continued until Oct. 10.
Disclaimer: If you are wondering why the incident in this story was from August, that’s because I had to file a FOIA request to get the Personnel Narratives for the incident. FOIAs are time consuming.