Video: Conn. Police Officer Takes Down Suspect Charging with 2 Knives

May 20, 2024
A suspect was shot and wounded in the lower leg by a Bridgeport police officer who was responding to multiple reports of a man with two knives "acting erratically" and knocking on doors.

By Lisa Backus

Source New Haven Register, Conn.

BRIDGEPORT, CT — Body camera video released by the state Inspector General on Monday shows a man wielding two knives and charging at a city police officer before he was shot last week.

The man was identified as Dale Stephenson, 49, of Bridgeport, by Inspector General Robert Devlin who also provided a preliminary report on the shooting.

Stephenson was shot Thursday by Bridgeport Police Officer Israel Colon on Birdseye Street, officials said.

Warning: The body camera video is graphic and may be disturbing to some viewers.

He was shot in the lower leg, said Tiadora Josef, the director of public information for Bridgeport.

Stephenson was taken to Saint Vincent's Hospital where he was listed in serious but stable condition as of Monday, Devlin said. The 49-year-old has been charged with attempted first-degree assault, second-degree breach of peace and second-degree reckless endangerment in connection with the incident and is being held on $100,000 bond. He is slated to appear in state Superior Court in Bridgeport on June 11.

The city's emergency communications center received multiple calls shortly before 5:55 a.m. Thursday, reporting a suspicious man was carrying a knife in the 200 block of Birdseye Street, Bridgeport Police Capt. Kevin Gilleran said.

The man later identified at Stephenson was "acting erratically, knocking on doors and brandishing a knife," Devlin said in his report.

Colon was one of two officers who arrived at the scene, Devlin said. Officer Darryl Wilson Jr., is not seen in Colon's body camera footage that was released by Devlin.

In the video, Stephenson can be seen standing in the roadway as Colon got out of his cruiser. Colon yelled, "hey brother," and Stephenson immediately began running at the officer, the video shows. Colon started yelling, "hey, hey, hey don't do it!" as Stephenson charged the officer with a knife in each hand, according to the video and Devlin.

"Upon their arrival, they encountered the armed individual and subsequently discharged their firearms," Josef said.

Colon fired three shots striking Stephenson, Devlin said. One large knife can be seen hitting the ground as Stephenson fell after being shot, the video shows.

The Office of the Inspector General, the Connecticut State Police Western District Major Crime Squad and the Office of the State's Attorney in Bridgeport are investigating the incident. As the state's Inspector General, it is up to Devlin to determine whether Colon was justified in the use of deadly force during the incident.

Staff writer Liz Hardaway contributed to this story.


(c)2024 the New Haven Register (New Haven, Conn.)

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