Naugatuck Police, Fire Pull Suicidal Fugitive From River

Two teenagers came across the knife-wielding man in the woods and called police Monday.

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. 

Some Girl July 24, 2012 at 08:36 AM
Good job "Devin" thats pretty wild. Good thing you went with your instinct on that and stayed aware of the situation. Saved a life and possibly your own. Seemed a lil disturbed (the guy) If he stabbed himself he was on the verge of something there- Nice that you went with your gut though.. and always do so! As you see it was right! Bet there is a new outlook on life now for you! I'd call you a pretty smart lil hero myself.
Paul Singley July 24, 2012 at 12:34 PM
"Devin" I'm sorry you had to witness this, but the police officer is correct, you and your friend did the right thing. Unfortunately, I have a feeling not many people would do that, regardless of their age. Great job. Also, it sounds like this was one intense rescue. Good work by our emergency responders.
GEORGEANN ERHARDT July 24, 2012 at 02:08 PM
So sorry you and your friend had to witness this. Very upsetting I am sure. Glad you were around to get help.
Rocky Vitale July 24, 2012 at 03:47 PM
You most certainly did save his life. Nice job. Your family should be very proud of the kind of person you are.
Cheyenne July 24, 2012 at 04:29 PM
I heard he wanted for child pornography...I don't feel for him at all.
franklin July 24, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Yeah i heard that too. Scumb bag.
little July 24, 2012 at 09:43 PM
If thats the case he should rot in hell
little July 24, 2012 at 09:46 PM
I heard the same thing about that child porn... People are sick!!!
franklin July 24, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Lets think about the children here. What a pig!
Paul Singley July 24, 2012 at 10:21 PM
About the child pornography stuff, obviously we heard that, too but didn't print it because we have not been able to confirm it with state police. I called the state police spokesman today, and he said they have an arrest warrant for this man but wouldn't say what it is for. They can't arrest him until he gets out of the hospital, where he was not only being treated for injuries but also undergoing a psychiatric evaluation. We will stay on top of this story. Thanks
Just Sayin' July 24, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Whatever happened to innocent until PROVEN guilty?????? You are all drawing conclusions about a person you don't know based on nothing but things you've heard, and thats all it is because there has been no details at all released by the police. How about we keep the insults to ourselves like ADULTS until the details are actually released by the authorities and not the person you overheard at the store this morning tell what is probably a third or fourth hand account...
little July 24, 2012 at 11:21 PM
I know its true!!!!!
Aimee July 25, 2012 at 12:25 AM
Whether it is or isn't true, any person in this country has the right to be innocent until proven guilty. And do you know every detail? NO! No one does, but this man and the police. What about his family? Do they deserve to have to read all these posts after almost losing their family member and everything else? Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect that, but there are times when said opinions should be kept to themselves.
Just Sayin' July 25, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Unless you know a police officer or are one there is NO WAY you KNOW what the warrant is for, every article posted about this incident does not release the persons name or any details, so I reiterate my previous comment unless you are one of the above you KNOW what you HEARD!!
Lynn July 25, 2012 at 01:08 AM
We used to go fishing there and I don't understand why the police needed a ladder to reach him - the river is sooo low and can be crossed easily...
Lynn July 25, 2012 at 01:09 AM
And I thought Naugy Police has a dog...
Ken Hanks July 25, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Lynn: While the river is low, getting to the river and removing an injured person is a challenge. The area where the person was found had a steep bank, 45 to 60 degrees. Walking across the river would have brought us to a vertical concrete wall. Carrying the person in the liter (commonly called a stokes basket http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f390/kennfd/basket1.jpg ) up a trail or path requires 3 people per side and is difficult on a steep or narrow path.
Lynn July 25, 2012 at 02:39 AM
Ken, I will meet with you to discuss this... There are at least two spots to get to the river in that area! Please show me this was not a practice drill...
John W July 25, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Lynn, you seem to have it figured out. Naugy PD has a dog but for some reason decided to call Shelton PD. Maybe the Naugatuck dog was on a union required break or the police supervisors forgot we had one? Did a quick Google search and I found police dogs can be patrol, live search, cadaver, arson, explosives, or narcotics dogs. One dog cannot do it all. Maybe Naugy's dog is not a search dog or was not available? Oh wait, that would not fit into your agenda that all town workers, especially cops, are corrupt and/or incompetent. Never mind.
Ken Hanks July 25, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Looking forward to meeting you. If you can show us an easier way to access and evacuate an injured person in that area without injuring rescuers, it would help for future events. Not sure what you mean by "show me this was not a practice drill..." I am usually in the fire station between 7:00 and 7:15AM.
John W July 25, 2012 at 03:23 AM
So let me get this straight, Lynn F, who lives in a trailer and is a chronic complainer on Patch, is going to tell the fire department how to do their job? Good luck chief, you're going to need it.
barb July 25, 2012 at 03:59 AM
omg lynn f who do you think you are these police no what there doin , they dont need yr advice ok, there train and no what there job is, why dont you become a cop ,,, LOL
franklin July 25, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Hey "just sayin'" you need to calm down. Because obviously, you didnt know this guy theres two types of people that know what happened besides the police. The suspect and the victim. So unless your a victim. Don't start with someone who might be.
HealthyMom July 25, 2012 at 05:16 PM
I love how people get so easily "tangled in the weeds"! It's irrelevant that the Fire Dept needed a ladder to rescue the guy; he was rescued and that's what matters. I also thought Naugy had a dog, but my uncle (he's on SWAT) used to have a police dog, and his dog wasn't trained to locate an injured person, just drugs and chase people that thought they could outrun a German Shepard (LOL!). I think everyone can simmer down until Patch can confirm what the charges are against this man. I am glad this guy is off the street.
Lynn July 26, 2012 at 02:28 AM
Sooo true Renee about getting "tangled in the weeds" but I was just asking why a certain procedure was used by our Fire Department as I used to walk and go fishing in that area often... John W. - my "agenda"??? Yes, I do not believe in Unions getting increases when the private sector is suffering, and yes, I do not want corrupt politicians, corrupt police officers, corrupt citizens in general getting away with crap!!! And I also believe in staying within budgets especially when times are tough... Thank you Ken for your willingness to address citizens questions/opinions and hopefully I can offer something helpful in return! My neighbors and I have relied on the FIre Department and Naugy's Police Dept for years.
Lynn July 26, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Life is constantly a learning experience. Its interesting about the info about the police dogs John W., thank you for sharing your Google.
John W July 28, 2012 at 01:35 AM
Lynn: How did your meeting with the fire chief go? We are still waiting for your comments on the school business manager. http://naugatuck.patch.com/articles/board-to-discuss-contract-extensions-for-superintendent-business-manager Maybe this explains your posts "This is sooo sickening... I'll be back - just wait till I sober up!!!! Power to the people@!" http://naugatuck.patch.com/articles/taxes-spending-a-focus-at-naugatuck-budget-hearing
John W July 31, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Lynn: Maybe you missed my post with all the other stuff on Patch. Based on your post in the marshal showing a gun story, it seems you know more than an attorney now. How did your meeting with the fire chief go? We are still waiting for your comments on the school business manager. http://naugatuck.patch.com/articles/board-to-discuss-contract-extensions-for-superintendent-business-manager Maybe this explains your posts "This is sooo sickening... I'll be back - just wait till I sober up!!!! Power to the people@!" http://naugatuck.patch.com/articles/taxes-spending-a-focus-at-naugatuck-budget-hearing
Angie August 14, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Great job Devin...I didnt know it was you that helped that man wether he did wrong or not,I am VERY proud of my nephew on how fast he got the officers & rescuers to help the man! Maybe one day Devin you can be an officer shaking the hand of a child like yourself & make them happy & proud like you were that day :) papa is sooo proud of you & soo am I kiddo Love ya Aunt Angie & Pop
Lynn August 15, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Great job Devin!!! But I feel sorry for you that you had to witness it...


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