Man becomes agitated; 2 police officers injured

A recent incident involving an out-of-control man at a local grocery store led to two Seymour police officers being injured.

Because the 25-year-old man had special needs, no arrests were made in the incident that occurred Friday afternoon around 2 p.m. in the parking lot of Jay C Food Store on the west end of Seymour, Police Chief Bill Abbott said.

Officer Gilbert Carpenter suffered a broken wrist and officer Bernard Petro took an elbow to the side of the head while trying to investigate the call. The initial report indicated a man came into the store screaming and scaring employees, Police Chief Bill Abbott said.

Carpenter is off work until he is cleared by his doctor to return.

The man, who is in his 20s, had been shopping at the grocery store with his mother when he became agitated and potentially violent, alarming employees and customers, Abbott said. When police arrived, the man had left the store and was sitting in his mom’s vehicle.

There was some initial concern the man had a weapon, but that turned out not to be the case, police said.

“Dispatch overheard someone in the background during the call about a possible weapon, but he did not have one,” Abbott said.

Abbott said he believed the initial call to 911 was made by the store manager.

When they approached the vehicle and tried to talk to the man about the potential weapon, he became violent again, Abbott said.

A taser was deployed, Abbott added.

The incident was “unfortunate,” but Abbott said he is glad the injuries weren’t worse and his officers were able to get the situation under control.

“We have to take everything into account, and try not to escalate things unnecessarily,” Abbott said.

He plans to review the situation and everything that happened to see if the department needs to adjust its protocols or officers need more training in handling cases that involve someone who is out of control.

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.