Police stun suicidal suspect


NAUGATUCK — A man who caused a car accident while driving under the influence on New Haven Road last week got out of the car and started to slice his own neck with a razor blade, police said.

The man whose car he hit talked him out of suicide but then a Naugatuck police officer zapped the driver with a stun gun after he tried again to slice into his carotid artery, according to a police report.

The incident happened at 8:15 p.m. on July 21 near the intersection of New Haven Road and Osborn Road.

Jeremiah Brown, 22, of Naugatuck, was driving west at high speed toward the center of Naugatuck in a yellow Nissan Extera SUV, police said. The Nissan crossed the center line and struck an Acura MDX driven by Joe Pesce, 48, of Woodbury.

Pesce’s vehicle spun out into the front lawn of a cottage at 1006 New Haven Road, St. Vincent Ferrer Church, narrowly missing a cottage on the property, and Brown’s vehicle spun out into a lawn at 1005 New Haven Road.

Both vehicles were totaled after the crash but nobody suffered injuries.

Pesce got out of the vehicle and started asking Brown why he hit his car, before Brown’s passenger, Dan Renzoni, started yelling at Brown, Pesce said. Brown said his life was over, he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol and that he was going to kill himself, Pesce said.

While Renzoni and Pesce were speaking, Brown walked around them, grabbed a razor blade from his car and started digging the blade into his own neck, Pesce said.

“I asked him if he had kids and he said yes, he had one,” Pesce said. “I told him not to do it because he would want to see his kid grow up and teach him how to play ball.”

The Naugatuck Police Department arrived on scene and three officers began taking statements. When Brown saw police officers, he started cutting his neck again, according to the police report.

Officer Andre Moutela, the first officer on scene, heard from Pesce and witnesses that Brown had a knife to his throat and rushed toward him before deploying his stun gun, police said.

The knife fell to the ground and Moutela and EMTs from the Naugatuck Ambulance Association removed the stun gun throngs before they began treating Brown’s neck wounds and the wounds from the throngs, the police report states.

“If a person is a threat to himself or others, a use of force is justified to stop the threat,” Cammarata said. “Since the man was slicing his neck, it appears the officer used good judgment.”

Brown did not suffer any life-threatening injuries. He was treated for the neck wounds at Waterbury Hospital, where he was given a full psychological evaluation, police said.
Police are pursuing charges against Brown for driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol and other motor vehicle charges.

Pesce said he was in awe of the work by the police officers on scene.

“Police officers don’t often get the credit they deserve, but these guys did an excellent job,” he said.