A Massachusetts fire chief appeared in court Monday to answer to charges that he allegedly tried to strangle his wife in front of their young children.
Ipswich Fire Chief Gregory Gagnon, 41, of Dracut, was arraigned in Lowell District Court on a charge of strangulation and ordered to undergo inpatient mental health treatment.
He was arrested Saturday in connection with an ongoing investigation being conducted by the Middlesex District Attorney's Office and Dracut police.
The arrest came just one day after he was arraigned in connection with an assault that occurred last week. After that arraignment, investigators learned of the other incident of domestic violence involving his wife that occurred last year.
In last week's incident, Gagnon's wife said her husband threatened her with a handgun, saying he would "shoot her in the head so her brains would be splattered on the wall," and if she tried to call police, "guns would be blazing."
After pleading not guilty to the charges, Gagnon is now headed to a treatment facility in Vermont. His attorney called the situation "a family matter" and asked everyone to respect his privacy.
Ipswich Town Manager Robin Crosbie said Gagnon is on paid sick leave and will remain on leave throughout his court-ordered commitment to a treatment center.
Crosbie said the town is "taking measures to ensure that there will be a leadership presence at the Ipswich fire department," with fire Lt. Andy Theriault serving as acting chief until further notice.
"Our thoughts are with the entire Gagnon family during this very difficult time," Crosbie said in a statement.
Gagnon is scheduled to return to court on Nov. 3.