HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The police officer who fired his gun at an unarmed couple in New Haven in April 2019 has been charged with Reckless Endangerment, Assault, according to Connecticut State Police. He also posted $100,000 bail.
News 8 spoke exclusively with Officer Devin Eaton’s attorney after he turned himself in to state police barracks in Bethany.
“Obviously he and I think many of his brother and sister police officers are very distraught about this. It’s a very difficult time to be a police officer,” said E. Gregory Cerritelli, attorney.
WEB EXTRA: Officer Eaton’s lawyer speaks out on arrest
Officer Devin Eaton joined the Hamden Police force after resigning from the New Haven Police Department on June 22, 2016.
Around 4:20 a.m. on April 16, 2019 the Hamden officer investigated a report of an attempted armed robbery and located the vehicle that was suspected to be involved in the area of Argyle Street and Dixwell Avenue.
Stephanie Washington, 22, was hit at least once in the barrage of bullets unleashed by Eaton and Yale University police Officer Terrance Pollock, who is also on paid leave. She was a passenger in a red Honda Civic driven by her boyfriend, Paul Witherspoon III, 21, who was unhurt.
Washington was shot, however, recovered.
“It appeared that he was holding an object in his right hand, which I believed to be a gun,” said Eaton.
WEB EXTRA: Officer Eaton’s family leaves the police department
Police initially said their Honda was suspected in an attempted armed robbery but no charges were filed against couple and no gun was found.
Yale Officer Polluck was also struck. His leg grazed by “friendly fire.” But it was a shot fired by Eaton that struck Washington.
WEB EXTRA: Yale Police give statement on officer-involved shooting arrest
“We have and continue to work with our community. We still have a lot of work to do.
The incident prompted weeks of protests in Hamden, New Haven and on Yale’s campus.
WEB EXTRA: Faith leaders react to the arrest
“What’s more important is moving forward to make sure this never happens again,” said John Lewis, Christ Chapel New Testament Church. “Thank God there were no lives lost but we can’t say that around the country.”
The incident was investigated by Connecticut State Police.