Naugatuck Police Officer Charged With Cruelty, Assault: State Police

NAUGATUCK, CT — A Naugatuck police officer has been charged with intentional cruelty and assault as a result of an investigation into his use of a Taser earlier this month, according to state police.

According to a press release provided by state police, Officer Nicholas Kehoss turned himself in to Troop A in Southbury on an active arrest warrant Monday, charging him with intentional cruelty to persons and third-degree assault.

He was released on a $50,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court next week, according to state police.

A 13-year veteran of the department, Kehoss, 36, of Naugatuck, was charged as a result of an investigation stemming from his use of a Taser on Oct. 14 while making an arrest.

During a press conference Monday, Police Chief Colin McAllister identified Jarell Day, 33, of Waterbury, as the man Kehoss used the Taser on following a shoplifting incident that later escalated into a robbery charge earlier that day.

The department also released body camera footage from the incident Monday. In footage from one officer’s body camera, a car in a parking lot can be seen speeding away from the officer as he approaches the vehicle, hitting a police cruiser on its way out of the lot.

A second video of Kehoss’ dashboard camera shows what appears to be the same car crashed into a street light near the entrance to a highway.

Footage from Kehoss’ body camera shows the officer chasing Day and ordering him to stop before pulling out a Taser and telling him to get on the ground. The officer then deploys the Taser, causing Day to fall to the ground.

According to a warrant provided by state police, Kehoss then orders Day to roll over onto his stomach. As Day turns slowly onto his stomach while looking at Kehoss, the officer pulls the trigger of the Taser again and activates it.

Kehoss activates the device a third time after asking Day to put his hands behind his back. Day can be heard in the video pleading for the officer not to use it again.

According to McAllister, any use of force automatically triggers an internal investigation by the department.

During that process, department officials “identified several concerns with this use of force” that were brought before the Waterbury State’s Attorney’s Office for review. A decision was then made by that office to defer the matter to Connecticut State Police for criminal investigation.

The department also initiated its own internal investigation based on the officer’s conduct, McAllister said. Kehoss had been placed on paid administrative leave as of Monday afternoon while the investigation is underway.

Patch has reached out Naugatuck police for an update on the status of the department’s internal investigation.

McAllister noted no injuries were reported as a result of the incident and no complaints had been filed about the arrest as of Monday afternoon. He also noted the department wanted to be as transparent as possible about the situation.

“I do want to emphasize that we do have internal measures in place to evaluate our use of force,” McAllister said. “Those measures were in place, they were working. This incident was self-reported. This did not originate from an external complaint.”

Day was arrested on a number of charges, including criminal attempt at second-degree assault, third-degree robbery, second-degree larceny, interfering with an officer/resisting, reckless driving, evading responsibility, disobeying the signal of an officer and illegal possession of a weapon in a motor vehicle. His bond was set at $200,000, according to police.