By Dave Wedge March 14, 2001 Wednesday All Editions Copyright 2001 Boston Herald Inc. The Boston Herald March 14, 2001 Wednesday All Editions
(BROCKTON, Mass.) -- A man charged with firing a shot at a cop during a foot chase was released from jail yesterday after investigators found his alibi checks out, prosecutors said.
"It appears he didn't do it," a courthouse source said of Clifford Montrond.
Montrond, 19, was charged last week with squeezing off a shot from a 9mm handgun at Brockton officer David Alexis, grazing the three-year veteran.
The bullet ripped through Alexis' coat, knocking him to the ground, but he walked away with only a minor shoulder injury.
After the March 1 shooting, more than 200 police scoured the streets of Brockton in search of the armed gunman, but came up empty.
For the next week, detectives pored over mug shots before arrest records and a tip from an Abington cop led them to Montrond.
Montrond, who lives just a few blocks from the shooting scene, was arrested last Monday at his house by a host of cops who descended on his Elliot Street home and chased him upstairs.
But yesterday, prosecutors filed a motion to release Montrond, saying "exculpatory evidence" developed in recent days may prove him innocent.
Montrond, who was being held on bail, was released after a hearing in Brockton District Court.
Plymouth County District Attorney Michael Sullivan said prosecutors withdrew their bail request after detectives confirmed Montrond's claim that he was working in Newton at the time of the shooting.
"You never want to have the wrong person. That's not what we're all about," Brockton police Chief Paul Studenski said. "We want to bring the correct person before the grand jury. You don't want the wrong person prosecuted."
Studenski said despite the development, Montrond is still a focus of the investigation.
Police have two witnesses who picked him out of a photo lineup - including Alexis - and are still awaiting fingerprint and ballistic test results.
"We will continue to investigate him and any other possible suspects," Studenski said. "We want the right person."
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