Police and firefighters pulled a 41-year-old alleged fugitive from justice out of the Naugatuck River early Monday evening after the man tried to commit suicide near the Gen. Pulaski walking bridge in the borough's Union City section.
The wild event unfolded around 5:30 p.m. when two 14-year-old boys walking in the area of the Polish American Club off of Bridge Street spotted a man who was bleeding profusely and seemed disoriented, police said. The boys called police and the man walked down an embankment toward the river and into the shallow water, according to police.
Naugatuck officers arrived and could not immediately locate the man, so they called Seymour Police to bring in a canine search and rescue dog, said Naugatuck Lt. Robert Harrison, Naugatuck Police spokesman.
The dog quickly tracked the man to about 100 yards past the Gen. Pulaski Bridge, just south of the P.A. Club, and began moving toward him, Harrison said. That is when the man pulled out a knife and started stabbing himself multiple times in the chest, stomach, arms and other areas of his body, police said.
Naugatuck Police Sgt. Pete Bosco and officers Derek Vostinak and John Julian wrestled the knife from the man and secured him so he could not harm himself any further. No emergency responders were injured.
The man, who is from Beacon Falls, was located in an area of the river where the only exit was up a steep embankment - almost a complete drop - near the south side of the P.A. Club and its parking lot. The Naugatuck Fire Department placed a 24-foot extension ladder on the bank of the hill and walked downhill toward the water. They put the man in a plastic stokes basket and used rope to pull him out while using the ladder as a base to pull him up the hill. Several firefighters and police officers helped pull the man to shore, said Naugatuck Fire Chief Ken Hanks.
The man's name was not immediately released. He was taken by Naugatuck Ambulance to Waterbury Hospital. His condition could not immediately be confirmed but police said he had serious injuries.
The Connecticut State Police were also involved because the man was reportedly wanted for a serious crime, the nature of which was unavailable as of late Monday evening.
All told, more than 30 people from the Naugatuck and Seymour police departments, the state police and the Naugatuck Fire Department were involved. Also, volunteer Beacon Falls firefighters set up downstream at Linden Park with a boat that they were ready to put into the water if they needed to rescue the man by boat, which they did not.
Naugatuck Patch will follow this story to bring you more information.