Man accused of pulling gun on off-duty Springfield officer out on bail

Sarno suggests judges put themselves in the shoes of victims of violence

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A man accused of pulling a gun on an off duty Springfield Police officer was freed on $5,000 bail Tuesday.

22News spoke with Springfield’s Mayor Domenic Sarno, who’s calling on state lawmakers to reform the bail system.

A judge cut Christopher Graham’s $10,000 bail in half after he appealed it. Mayor Sarno said it’s an example of the court’s “revolving door bail system.”

Mayor Sarno said Christopher Graham is accused of pulling an illegal gun on an off duty Springfield Police officer.

Mayor Sarno and State Representative Angelo Puppolo have drafted bail legislation to allow prosecutors to appeal low bails, the same way defendants can appeal when they feel bail is too high.

Mayor Sarno’s previous attempts at bail reform have died in committee.

Mayor Sarno said legislation aimed at making it harder for repeat violent offenders to be released on bail have stalled in the state legislature since 2015.

Sarno suggests judges put themselves in the shoes of victims of violence.

“What that individual could have done at that point in time to you,” Mayor Sarno told 22News. “Physical harm, pistol whipping. Could have been shot. These people deserve to walk the streets? I don’t think so.”

But some residents said criminal suspects don’t always deserve to be locked up.

“The community that I’ve come from, you’re keeping fathers away from their sons,” said Shakeyva Wilson. “It’s not healthy, it’s just not helping it’s not gonna help us at all, so I don’t see the benefit from it. Of course everyone is going to be like oh they’re criminals. But let them be found guilty first.”

Puppolo said the newly filed legislation “seeks a balance” by ensuring bail won’t be excessively high or excessively low.

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