PALMER, Mass (WWLP) – The former Springfield Fire Captain accused of attacking Fire Commissioner Joseph Conant was arraigned Thursday in Palmer District Court.
An arrest warrant for Michael Richard was issued Wednesday night. Before the arraignment, Richard was driven to court by East Longmeadow Police from the Veterans Administration Hospital in Leeds.
East Longmeadow police Sgt. Jeffrey Dalessio confirmed for 22News that Richard checked himself into the Leeds VA Medical Center immediately following the incident Tuesday night.
After the arraignment, Richard was released on “personal recognizance” under certain conditions. He is to have not contact and stay 100 yards away from Commissioner Conant and his home, stay out of Springfield and East Longmeadow, have a monitored GPS, remain drug and alcohol free, and continue treatments at the VA Hospital.
A pre-trial conference is scheduled for November 4th.
Commissioner Conant was allegedly attacked by Richard at his home in Springfield, Tuesday night. Commissioner Conant was taken to Baystate Medical Center where he was treated for his injuries.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno released the following state regarding Michael Richard’s release:
“This senseless and vicious attack, witnessed by his young daughters and wife, has been a traumatic and horrifying experience. No family, whether a public official or not, should be subject to this form of attack. I am extremely disappointed in the decision by the court and find it unacceptable. This sets a very dangerous precedent and leaves every public official, public servant or elected official, vulnerable to a physical attack because of a public policy decision/s he or she has rendered.”