Retired firefighter pleads not guilty to attack
PALMER, Mass. (AP) — A retired Springfield fire captain charged with attacking the city’s fire commissioner has been released on personal recognizance, angering the mayor.
Retired Capt. Michael Richard pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Thursday in Palmer District Court to charges of assault and battery and disorderly conduct.
Prosecutors say Richard launched an unprovoked attack on Commissioner Joseph Conant outside the commissioner’s East Longmeadow home Tuesday night. Richard was reportedly angry at previously being passed over for promotion.
Conant was treated at a hospital but has since been released.
Mayor Domenic Sarno says the judge’s decision to release Richard without bail was “extremely disappointing.”
Richard’s lawyer says both men threw punches and his client suffered injuries in what he described as a “fistfight between two gentlemen.”