Around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 19, officers responded to 370 Candlewood Lake Road, an apartment building near the entrance to Candlewood Shores, after When police arrived, they found the man, whose identity has not been released, crouched in the grass on the side of the building brandishing a knife. They were able to subdue him using a Taser and wrestled the knife from his hand before an ambulance brought him to Danbury Hospital.
“I’ve never witnessed anything like that before,” said one neighbor, who identified himself as Eddie but declined to give his last name. Eddie has lived in the apartment building for less a year but said he knows the man and his family.
Eddie said he and his children were sitting down to eat Thursday evening when he saw an officer run past his window. He ventured outside to see “three or four squad cars” positioned around the property and his neighbor crouched on the lawn on the far side, with several knives strewn around him.
Eddie ushered his kids back inside, however he stayed outside to watch what happened next.
“I saw an officer come around behind him, from behind the building,” he recalled, and, as the man saw the officer approach, he turned, prompting the officer to fire the Taser, which landed on the man’s neck. Once he was down, officers began to kick at his hand to force him to drop the knife, Eddie said, and were able to subdue him.
The entire scene took only a matter of minutes, Eddie said.
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Another neighbor who witnessed the episode but declined to give his name for the record said police Tased the man four or five times while trying to get the knife away.
According to this neighbor, the man had recently lost his job and was doing some painting work on the building for the landlord, though the work was coming along slowly, with little having been finished before Thursday.
None of the residents at 370 Candlewood Lake Road have seen the man or his family since Friday.
Brookfield police have been equipped with Tasers since 2003 and officers go through an initial training course before being issued the stun guns, with yearly refreshers, according to police Maj. Jay Purcell.
“Part of the annual training is an overall review of the Department Use of Force Policy,” Purcell explained, as well as “situational training in dealing with emotionally disturbed persons” in police academy training and throughout their careers.
“Fortunately, this type of incident is not something we confront frequently,” Purcell said of the man’s alleged plan to force officers to kill him, though there have been “several over the years,” he added.
“All of these calls present a great risk to our officers and are a source of significant stress,” Purcell said. “At times like this the officers rely on their training and experience to guide them to what we always hope for — a conclusion where everyone is safe.”
The man was transported to Danbury Hospital for treatment but did not sustain any life threatening injuries. As of Sunday, no official charges have been filed and no arrests made with regard to the incident.
“The investigating officer is completing his report and any decision about criminal charges will be made after reviewing all the facts,” Purcell said.