Connecticut State Police have taken over an investigation after a Danbury Police Officer shot a knife wielding man on Wednesday.
According to the Danbury News-Times’ Kendra Baker, Danbury police responded to an initial report of an assault at MCCA, an alcohol rehabilitation center, around 8:44 am.
The suspect, an unidentified white male in his 30’s, had fled the scene resulting in a manhunt by local police.
After two hours of searching, the suspect was located by city police in the area of Old Ridgebury Road and Reserve Road. The area is locally known as the old Union Carbide property however currently operates by The Ridge at Danbury.
According to Baker, at approximately 10:45 am, officers located the suspect who refused to cooperate with demands to follow orders. The suspect wielded two large knives, one in each hand. An unidentified Danbury officer shot the suspect when the suspect refused all orders to drop the weapons.
Danbury Police Chief Patrick Ridenhour recounts:
“When officers encountered the man, he refused all orders to stop and drop the weapons… At some point during the encounter, the man was shot by a Danbury police officer. He was treated at the scene and then transported by ambulance to the hospital.”
The condition of the unnamed suspect is currently unknown however, Baker reports that he was conscious and speaking prior to being transported to Danbury Hospital. It is not believed that the unnamed suspect is a resident of Danbury, Police Chief Ridenhour reports.
WABC-TV reports that the officer who fired upon the suspect was not injured however was evaluated at the hospital as a precaution. The identity of the officer has not yet been released.
Roadways in the area were shut down for extended periods of time. Exit 2 off of Interstate I-84, just past the New York State border, was closed for several hours as a result of the manhunt and subsequent investigation.
The original assault at MCCA is being investigated as a separate incident.
This manhunt comes only a short seven months after Danbury Police shot and killed Paul Arbitelle, also a knife wielding white male.
According to Danbury News-Times’ Julia Perkins, Arbitelle was shot when he charged at a police officer with a knife in hand. The December 2018 incident occurred at Glen Apartments less than 8 miles from the manhunt this morning.
Arbitelle was a repeat offender including a 2011 arrest for assault of a black man. According to Perkins, Arbitelle was a white supremacist who had facial tattoos and the words “white power” tattooed across his back.
Arbitelle also had a history of previous charges including interfering with an officer in 2010, driving under the influence in 2009 and assaulting a public safety officer in both 2012 and 2016, according to the Danbury News-Times.
In the 2018 incident, officers reported that Paul Arbitelle may have been intoxicated as they attempted to use a taser to subdue him but found it ineffective. Arbitell charged police with a knife resulting in gunfire.
Neighbor Alberta Peterson recalled the incident saying:
“I heard five pops right in a row, so fast that I could tell it wasn’t fireworks and it wasn’t New Year’s Eve yet,” she said.
Paul Arbitelle died as a result of gunshot wounds to his torso and extremities. His mother, Linda Arbitelle, was injured by a bullet or bullet fragment, according to Perkins. She was transported to Danbury with expectations of recovery.
On Wednesday morning, Law Enforcement Today reported about another police-involved shooting. This one has turned into a fundraiser for a presidential hopeful, however.
You can’t attack the police just to propel yourself into the White House. That’s the message from the local police union president in South Bend, Indiana to Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Harvey Mills claims that Buttigieg is using an Indiana police-involved shooting probe to further his White House ambitions. He’s demanding that Buttigieg remove himself from the investigation and stop insinuating there is a race problem within the police department
“This incident has nothing to do with race,” Mills said. “This incident is about an officer that was forced to defend himself against a dangerous felon who used an eight-inch hunting knife to attack him. That’s all this incident is. It has nothing to do with skin color.
He said the fact that he’s using it as a campaign fundraiser is all people need to know.
“He has used this incident to further his political campaign and he cannot be unbiased about this… I would tell him that he needs to recuse himself from this investigation.”
You can find evidence of that in an email to supporters. In it, Buttigieg said the shooting highlighted, “all police work and all of American life takes place in the shadow of racism, which hurts everyone and everything it touches.”
He goes on to talk more about that “racism”.
“Historic racism, present-day racism, and generational racism – they all secrete a kind of poison into the bloodstream of this country,” he wrote.
As far as that shooting goes, here’s what happened.
Police responded to a call on June 16 reporting an individual who was going through parked cars. When Sergeant Ryan O’Neill located the suspect at 3 a.m. inside a vehicle, the man approached the officer with a knife raised.
The officer opened fire and Logan died at a hospital.
But according to Indy Star’s Chris Sikich, there are some troubling details that the community wants answered. Logan was transported to the hospital in the police cruiser as opposed to an ambulance leading to ask if the delay in medical attention contributed to his death.
Paramedic and friend of the deceased Vernado Malone Sr. said:
“The ambulance department is two blocks away from the scene, so it’s not like the ambulance had to come from 5 miles away.”
Sikich also reports that Logan’s brother Tyree Bonds claims that Logan had no record of theft and does not believe his brother would approach and officer with a knife.
Obviously he was just a sweet and innocent American.
Except for the fact that records do reveal that Logan did have an arrest record for carrying a handgun without a permit as well as drug possession.
Sergeant O’Neill did not have his body camera on at the time of the incident.
Then the family points out that O’Neill was investigated in 2008 on allegations that he had made racist comments.
But…. O’Neill was not found guilty and received no disciplinary action.
The family of Eric Jack Logan has filed a federal lawsuit against the City of South Bend as well as Sergeant O’Neill claiming excessive use of force.
A rowdy City Council meeting was attended by upset residents of South Bend. Bonds implored them to allow the judicial system to work it out.
“If we as a family are willing to accept that, you all got to accept it, too. I watched all of the yelling and hooping and hollering yesterday (at the town hall meeting) and that was just ridiculous. Everybody knows this stuff has been going on for a long time, now let this happen. They said they are going to get a special prosecutor, let that happen.”
But it’s not only the minority community that is upset with Mayor Buttigieg. Indy Star reports that the South Bend Fraternal Order of Police released a letter labeling the mayor’s response the situation as divisive.
The letter states:
“Mayor Buttigieg’s focus on this incident is solely for his political gain and not the health of the city he serves.”
“Mayor Buttigieg’s comments have already and will continue to have a detrimental effect on local law enforcement officers and law enforcement officers nationwide.”
Indy Star reports that since the June 16th incident, police officers in South Bend have been shot at on two occasions, but no officers have been injured. However, there was an incident at a local pub where one civilian was killed and 10 others injured in a shooting which lead to a disturbance at a local hospital.
Indy Star’s Natalia Contreras reports that St. Joseph County Police responded in an official release:
“Our County Police officers assisted South Bend Police Department at Memorial Hospital controlling a crowd of over 100 upset and angry citizens that came to the hospital from Kelly’s Pub, causing a lockdown at the hospital.”
A roadside memorial with stuffed animals and candles is set up for Logan. However, Sikich reports that it has twice been defaced, including scrawling of the words “Good Shoot”.
The memorial is now on around the clock watch by the community.
Buttigieg stated to MSNBC:
“And we’ve been on the ground, working with community leaders, working with community members, trying to make sure that the facts can emerge, but also recognizing that the anguish over what has happened is not only about a family that has lost a loved one, the family of Eric Logan, but also this ties to a much bigger set of issues that locally and nationally we have been dealing with.”
However, many critics in the community feel that the Mayor’s words are too late. Sikich quotes Tyree Bonds’ strong message for the mayor:
“How are you, the mayor, going to run for president and you can’t even handle little South Bend.”
At a local event in June, residents heckled the mayor.
“You’ve gotta go back to South Carolina like you were yesterday — talk about ‘all lives matter’ in South Carolina,” one angry attendee yelled at the 37-year-old Democrat.
Mills argues the entire situation is harmful to police.
“It’s very demoralizing,” the local FOP president said. “He used the term ‘systemic racism’ apparently. Maybe he doesn’t understand the definition of systemic. We do. That means all. He’s basically called all police officers racist. That is blatantly untrue.
Mills says it’s all about service above self.
“I’ve served my whole life. First in the Navy and now as a police officer. It really comes down to a want to serve the community that you live in.”
Buttigieg’s campaign announced on Monday that he had collected $24.8 million from more than 294,000 donors over a three-month period that ended Sunday.