By Elio Gugliotti and Andrew Larson, Staff
NAUGATUCK — Joseph T. Corradino, state’s attorney for the district of Fairfield, on Thursday released body camera footage of an officer-involved shooting in Naugatuck earlier this week.
The footage shows Sgt. Nicholas Kehoss pull his police SUV in front of an orange Dodge Charger to block it in as he assists with a traffic stop on the Route 8 northbound on-ramp at Maple Street at about 8 p.m. Monday.
As Kehoss is getting out of the SUV, the driver of the Charger puts the car in gear, rams the SUV and drives toward him, knocking him to ground. Kehoss fires at the Charger as it drives toward him and as it flees. It appears that Kehoss fired three or four shots.
Corradino, who is heading up the investigation into Kehoss’ use of force, said in a preliminary report that Officer Kevin Zainc pulled over the Charger after seeing what he thought was a hand-to-hand drug transaction involving the car.
The driver, who police identified as Roznovsky Antonio Machado of Waterbury, at first cooperates with Zainc. He provides his name, but says he doesn’t have a license.
As Zainc heads to his SUV, he appears to tell Kehoss that Machado is going to take off. That’s when Kehoss, who has been a Naugatuck officer for 10 years, pulls his SUV in front of the Charger.
Both officers pursue the Charger onto Route 8, but weren’t able to catch it.
Police located the Charger, which is a rental car with Ohio license plates, in Waterbury Tuesday.
A car matching the description of the vehicle that drove at the officer was seen parked behind a multi-family home at 41 Vine St. in Waterbury at about 10:30 a.m. It had what appeared to be a bullet hole in the windshield and another in the front passenger side door, along with a shattered rear passenger window.
Detectives from Waterbury and Naugatuck were seen near the car. Police did not disclose what, if anything, was found in the car. State police were processing the car for evidence, police said.
Naugatuck police say they have an arrest warrant for Machado and intend to charge him with attempted first-degree assault, second-degree assault, engaging an officer in a pursuit and assaulting an officer, among other charges.
Police are still looking for Machado. It’s unknown whether he suffered any injuries.
Kehoss suffered minor injuries and was treated at a local hospital. He has been placed on administrative assignment. Such an assignment is routine when officers fire their sidearm during an encounter.
Police ask anyone with information on the shooting to call the Connecticut State Police Western District Major Crimes Squad at 860-626-7900.
Police ask anyone with information on Machado’s whereabouts to contact the Naugatuck Police Department at 203-729-5221 or the department’s confidential tip line at 203-720-1010.