On August 7, 2015 at approximately 8:30 p.m. police officers from the Hartford Police Department responded to 38 Kelsey Street, Hartford to assist the Hartford Mobile Crisis Team with a medical-related disturbance.
Upon arrival Matthew Russo became combative with police, Mobile Crisis Team personnel and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel. A Hartford Police Officer deployed their assigned Taser on Russo as he continued to be combative. After the Taser was deployed, EMS personnel administered a sedative to Russo. Russo began experiencing difficulty breathing, and medical aid was immediately administered. Russo was transported to Hartford Hospital where he was later pronounced deceased.
On August 8, 2015 at approximately 12:30 a.m. State Police detectives from Western District Major Crime responded, and assumed the investigation.
No release has been provided from the City of Hartford or HPD
UPDATE FROM HPD AT 4:00PM:
In an effort to keep our continued lines of communication open, I am writing you to detail an incident that occurred in the city last night. Please see preliminary details below:
On Friday, August 8, 2015, at 8:28pm, Hartford Police Department Patrol Officers responded to 38 Kelsey Street at the request of Capital Region Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services as they conducted a medical/psych committal evaluation of a patient, Matthew Russo, 26 of Hartford. Capital Region responders requested HPD Officers to assist as the patient was very large and had a history of violent behavior. Officers specifically trained in Crisis Intervention Training (C.I.T.) responded. During the course of the evaluation, the patient became combative with Officers and EMS personnel on scene. A “Dry Stun” pain compliance measure was applied to the patient (This is a less painful and less intrusive use of force than a standard Taser deployment). This technique was not affective. EMS personnel then administered a dose of a sedative. EMS Personnel noticed the patient began to have difficulty breathing and appeared in distress. The patient was subsequently transported by Ambulance personnel to Hartford Hospital where he was pronounced deceased at 10:38pm.
Two Hartford Police Officers were also transported to Hartford Hospital for injuries. One of the officers sustained significant back injury. The other officer had injuries to his arm and shoulder. Both officers are currently off-line due to their injuries.
In an effort to maintain community trust, and avoid the appearance of bias, the incident is currently being investigated by Connecticut State Police Western District Major Crimes with the assistance of the Chief State's Attorney's Office. Hartford Police Department Internal Affairs Investigators also responded and will monitor to ensure all administrative policies and procedures were adhered to. An Autopsy will be performed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner where a cause of death will likely be determined.
Matthew Russo (DOB 01/25/89)
38 Kelsey St.
We provide this information to you as this is the best information we currently have available. We will look to keep you updated.