Arraignment held for suspect in threat that prompted West Springfield school delay

Arraignment held for suspect in threat that prompted West Springfield school delay
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 12:11 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 23, 2022 at 3:09 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The man charged with firing gunshots just 1,000 feet away from a school in West Springfield faced a judge on Friday.

Michael Lyncosky faced a judge for his arraignment and we learned he was on probation at the time of his alleged crimes.

Lyncosky entered the courtroom Friday morning accompanied by multiple guards and his hands and feet restrained.

“I’m going to enter a not guilty pleas on your behalf on these charges,” the judge said in court.

His arraignment was for charges related to a frightening situation in West Springfield on Thursday. Police said he shot off a gun two to three times in an open field on a family’s property that was only 1,000 feet away from West Springfield High School. The prosecutor asked that he be held without the right to bail, pending a dangerousness hearing.

“Under statute 58A, for the charge of carrying a firearm without a license,” the prosecutor explained.

Western Mass News has learned Lyncosky was on probation at the time of his arrest. Therefore, the probation department also asked that he be detained. His defense attorney requested a competency evaluation be completed, which will assess his state of mind and if he’s fit to withstand trial.

Lyncosky is well known to the West Springfield Police Department. Officers told us he has an extensive record with 55 adult arraignments. They also said they’ve responded to 63 calls involving Lyncosky since 2018.

We asked West Springfield Police how mental health services might come into play with a case like Lyncosky’s. They told Western Mass News that there was a co-response mental health clinician program in place, but it’s on hold due to funding and staffing issues. Either way, they said a clinician wouldn’t have responded to Thursday morning’s incident because of the dangerousness of the call.

Since Lyncosky was on probation, we asked the sheriff’s department if they have a similar program. They said they have a full team of mental health professionals on staff to help those in need and if they are a repeat offender, they do their best to get to know those needs. However, they said their programs only work if that person welcomes the help they offer.

Lyncosky is set to be back in court next Thursday for a dangerousness hearing.