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Published On: Mon, May 24th, 2010

Massachusetts man, Matthew Brace, offered baby for two beers

Police say a Northampton man tried to swap his 3-month-old daughter for beer or drugs.

A maintenance man at a gas station in Chicopee claims 24-year-old Matthew Brace offered him his baby girl Monday.

“He said, ‘For two 40’s you can have her,'” Chicopee Police Chief John Ferraro, Jr. told reporters at a Tuesday morning news conference.

“It’s my understanding 40’s are those large oversize beers,” he added. “He was trying to trade the baby for beer.”

However, hours after the news conference, police said that “40” is also slang for crack cocaine.

Now investigators are not sure whether Brace meant beer or crack.

Brace allegedly walked to the convenience store from an Econo Lodge motel in Chicopee where he’s been living with his girlfriend and daughter.

Police say he put the girl in the back of a workman’s truck, making him the offer.

The maintenance man called police, who found Brace hiding with the girl behind a trash container.

State child welfare officials took the baby into custody.

“I’ve been in law enforcement for 40 years. I’ve seen all kinds of murders and homicides, but nothing like this,” said Ferraro.

Police say Brace was not arrested, but will be summoned to court to face a charge of reckless endangerment of a child.

The child’s mother was in the station’s convenience store at the time buying cigarettes.

She has not been charged.

According to police, 71 other homeless families or singles live in the motel.

It’s part of a state-funded program, but locals and the police chief say it’s creating a problem.

“Something’s gotta be done,” said Ferraro. “You can’t just drop them off without supervision or some kind of program to help them.”

One hotel employee told WBZ that several of the occupied rooms have seen a lot of partying, and the manager of a local convenience store says it’s becoming a problem.
Brace and his girlfriend have now left the motel.

WBZ’s Bill Shields contributed to this report.

Thanks to Lisa D. for sending me this story.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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