NAUGATUCK, Conn. (WTNH) – A Naugatuck police officer was charged with assault for using his Taser on a suspect three times during an arrest earlier this month.
On Monday, Naugatuck police released bodycam footage of Officer Nicholas Kehoss taking 23-year-old Jarell Day from Waterbury into custody on Oct. 14. Day allegedly stole $200 worth of beer from a ShopRite. Naugatuck Police Chief C. Colin McAllister said the suspect did not have a weapon at the time of his arrest.
Kehoss, 36, turned himself in Monday on an active arrest warrant. He was charged with third-degree assault and one count of cruelty to a person. He was released on a $50,000 court-set cash or surety bond and is due in Waterbury Superior Court on Nov. 8.
WARNING: Some viewers may find this video disturbing. Discretion is advised.
Kehoss, a 13-year department veteran, was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcomes of the criminal and internal investigations.
McAllister said Kehoss has a disciplinary history. In 2020, Kehoss shot at a suspect during a traffic stop. The inspector general’s office determined that the shooting was justified.
“I think this again highlights the stress that officers face out there,” McAllister said Monday when asked to comment on how Kehoss responded. “They have to constantly pivot between managing an active scene, active situation, suspects who are out there, actively trying to avoid apprehension. And I think the video is descriptive of that. That’s why we wanted to get this out there. We’re being transparent and showing how this initiated, law enforcement contact, and how it played through.”
No one was injured in the Oct. 14 incident.
The Naugatuck Police Department said after a supervisory review, concerns were raised over Kehoss’ use of the Taser. The issue was then brought to the Waterbury State’s Attorney, who referred the matter to Connecticut State Police.
The city has hired an outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation. Mayor Pete Hess said the investigation was asked to be completed expeditiously.
The Greater Waterbury NAACP chapter president was at the press conference Monday afternoon. Wendy Tyson-Wood declined to comment on the video directly but was grateful the video was released.
“I think the importance of the transparency is that we are moving in the right direction,” she said. “We thanked the police officers, we thanked the mayor, we thank the state’s attorney’s office for at least doing this. This is a big step, and I think it’s a model we can continue in other communities.”
Day faces several charges, including robbery, larceny, interfering with an officer/resisting, reckless driving and disobeying the signal of an officer. He was released on a $200,000 bond.