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Hero officer shot twice while responding to the scene of a car accident

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Update: An Connecticut officer who was hailed a hero for saving a suicidal man over the summer was shot while responding to the scene of an accident.

On October 7, 2022, at about 1:29 AM, New Haven Police officer Chad Curry responded to reports of a car accident in the Fair Haven neighborhood.

Shortly after arriving on the scene, the car’s driver opened fire at officer Curry. He was struck twice, once in the shoulder and once in the ear, according to Fox61.

The suspect fled from the scene but was later arrested and identified as 36-year-old Jose Claudio of New Haven. 

He was charged with assault in the first degree, assault of a public safety officer, criminal possession of a firearm, carrying a pistol without a permit, unlawful discharge of a firearm, and reckless endangerment.

Earlier:

Mark Zaretsky

New Haven Register, Conn.

Jul. 28—NEW HAVEN — Some cases in which police are called to deal with an armed resident in crisis can end badly. Sometimes, however, things result in a better outcome.

Last week, in an incident that new Assistant Chief David Zannelli described as “nothing short of heroic,” veteran police Officer Chad Curry talked down a suicidal resident armed with a knife using training he had just received to help de-escalate the situation.

It was one of several cases police brass highlighted Thursday, with Chief of Police Karl Jacobson calling it “a real testament to the good work that our officers are doing and to the training that they received.”

Police were called to an address on Eastern Circle, site of the Bella Vista apartments, Friday morning via a suicide hotline. When Curry, a 9 1/2-year veteran officer, arrived, a man had a knife to his own back, Zannelli said.

In a situation that could have gone any number of ways, Curry ultimately calmed down the man, employing both his own words and descalation training he recently recently received through a program called Integrating Communications, Assessment and Tactics, or ICAT, Zannelli said.

“If you put down the knife, it would probably make me feel more comfortable,” Curry told him at one point as the man sat on a bench outside Bella Vista, after telling him that whatever he was feeling was temporary, according to a body cam recording obtained via the state Freedom of Information Act.

The man then asked Curry to kill him.

“I don’t want to kill you — I don’t want to kill anybody,” Curry told him in response. “… Put down the knife. I’ll get help.”

Moments later, the man put down the knife and, following police directions, walked slowly toward another officer.

“That’s all right, I’m here to help you,” the officer said as he checked the man for other weapons.

The ICAT training “gives you the confidence,” Curry said Thursday at police headquarters. “My words were persuading him.” But the training gave Curry the tools he needed, he said.

Some of that was just good policing, of course.

“When you first see him, you realized he called the police … so obviously he’s having second thoughts,” Curry said.

But Zanelli praised Curry for “dealing with the situation by slowing it down,” although he said that if firearms had been present, the situation might have been different.

The case was one of several that Jacobson, Assistant Chief Bertram Ettienne and Zannelli discussed Thursday. Some were cases from months and years past in which the department recently made arrests.

Jacobson said that last year at this time, the Police Department had seized 119 guns, four of them “ghost guns,” and made 118 related firearms arrests. So far this year, they’ve seized 150 guns, 20 of which were ghost guns, and made 126 related firearms arrests.

Mayor Justin Elicker reminded people that the Police Department is in the midst of a recruitment drive and is looking for city residents who want to be police officers to apply. 

___

(c)2022 the New Haven Register (New Haven, Conn.)

Visit the New Haven Register (New Haven, Conn.) at www.nhregister.com

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