A 34-year-old man was arraigned this week on charges he telephoned menacing threats from a psychiatric hospital to a Vineyard Haven selectman’s home.
Bernard M. Wojnowski of Vineyard Haven was accused of leaving threatening messages on the telephone machine of Geoghan Coogan, 35, on June 26.
Mr. Wojnowski is charged with making a threat to commit a crime, murder, and making a threat to commit a crime, assault and battery. Both charges carry up to a six-month jail term.
An Oct. 7 pretrial hearing was scheduled Monday in Edgartown district court. Mr. Wojnowski was released on personal recognizance and ordered to have no contact of any kind with Mr. Coogan or his family members.
In June, Mr. Coogan played the messages from his home machine for police, who then determined that Mr. Wojnowski was being treated at Pembroke State Hospital at the time and had regular phone privileges there, police said. Hospital officials said he had been admitted June 15, more than a week before the calls.
In the first message, police said, the caller told Mr. Coogan to bring cigarettes to the hospital and threatened to “crush your skull.” In a second call, he yelled another threat and mentioned Mr. Coogan’s family, according to the police report.
That same night, Mr. Coogan said he took a third call from the man who was “rambling on about excise taxes,” blamed him for an issue involving an estate and money, and threatened him again, police said. Mr. Coogan, who is also an attorney, told police he never represented the man in any cases and was only aware of him from school years ago.