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Cops, Firemen Face Armed Patient in Dramatic Standoff

Cops, Firemen Face Armed Patient in Dramatic Standoff

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New Haven Register

February 20, 2010

HAMDEN, CT— Firefighters and cops are being praised for bravery when a Treadwell Street man who didn’t want to go to the hospital pointed a loaded gun at the firefighters who went to his home to help him, authorities said Friday.

Firefighters stayed calm as the man, 66, was holding the .38-caliber revolver while they asked him about his medical condition and took his blood pressure in his room in the basement of the condominium Thursday afternoon. He told firefighters he would shoot any police officers who came in, according to police Capt. Ronald Smith.

When officers arrived at about 2:10 p.m., they struggled with the man, subdued him, and then saw a 10-inch hunting knife under his body, Smith said.

When he is released from the hospital, the man will be charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, first-degree unlawful restraint, disorderly conduct and threatening, Smith said.

Officers later seized 24 weapons, some of which were assault weapons, and ammunition from a safe during a search of the condominium. The man has a pistol permit, but police are checking to see whether the weapons are registered, Smith said. He does not have a police record.

“The firemen conducted themselves very bravely by keeping their composure. Thankfully, they were able to exit safely. The officers acted extremely heroically in bringing this case to a conclusion,” Smith said Friday. “This could have been very catastrophic. I’m very proud of the officers’ efforts.”

“I’m thankful, very thankful,” Fire Chief David A. Berardesca said. “We’re lucky to be able to tell this story today instead of a tragic story.”

Fire Lt. Charles Lubowicki, one of the firefighters who faced the gun while trying to give medical assistance, said he was happy “everything worked out and we’re here to talk about it. In a situation like this, you’re there to help the guy and as long as everyone is staying calm, with that, and the grace of God, everyone was OK.”

“It was a little bit surreal, but it was not the first time a gun was on me,” said Firefighter Adam Barletta, who once worked at a convenience store.

Firefighters were called to the house because the man was having difficulty breathing, officials said. The man’s elderly mother let firefighters into the condo and when firefighters went into the basement they saw the man reclining on his bed with a gun pointed at them, Lubowicki said.

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