CSAO: Report of the State's Attorney for the Judicial District of Litchfield Concerning the Use of Deadly Force by a Connecticut State Police Officer Resulting in the Death of Frank Escribano in Torrington on July 12, 2012

Report of the State's Attorney for the Judicial District of Litchfield Concerning the Use of Deadly Force by a Connecticut State Police Officer Resulting in the Death of Frank Escribano in Torrington on July 12, 2012

Preface | Circumstances of the Incident | Applicable Law | Conclusion | Appendix

PREFACE

On Thursday, July 12, 2012, a Connecticut State Police trooper exercised deadly force which resulted in the death of Mr. Frank Escribano in the city of Torrington.

Section 51-277a of the General Statutes provides that, whenever a peace officer in the performance of his or her duties, uses deadly physical force upon another person and such person dies as a result thereof, the Division of Criminal Justice shall cause an investigation to be made and shall determine whether the use of deadly physical force was appropriate under section 53a-22 of the General Statutes. In accordance with these statutes, this State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Litchfield caused such an investigation to be conducted by the Connecticut State Police Eastern District Major Crime Squad, in conjunction with the Connecticut State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Squad, the Forensic Science Laboratory of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, the Office of the State Medical Examiner and the Torrington Police Department. The investigation is concluded and this report represents my findings and legal conclusions.

CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE INCIDENT

On Thursday, July 12, 2012, at approximately 9:00 am, Connecticut State Police Lieutenant Clayton Brown was traveling on Rt. 8 northbound, near Exit 43 (“Harwinton Avenue”), in the city of Torrington. Lt. Brown was the commanding officer at Troop B, North Canaan. He was operating a police cruiser, and was in uniform. Route 8 is a two to three lane limited access state highway. Traffic was light to moderate. The highway in the area of the incident under investigation had a 65 mph speed limit. Additionally, this particular area of Route 8 is within the patrol operations of Connecticut State Police Troop L, Litchfield.

As Lt. Brown was approaching the Exit 43 entrance ramp, he saw an elderly man walking along the highway shoulder. Lt. Brown stopped his cruiser on the roadside and attempted to assist the man. The individual, however, turned, produced a knife and repeatedly advanced upon Lt. Brown. Ultimately, after repeated efforts at retreat, Lt. Brown fired a single gunshot hitting the man in the chest. The man was transported to Charlotte Hungerford Hospital where he died from his injury. The man was identified as Mr. Frank Escribano, born on February 24, 1934, of 547 Harwinton Avenue, Torrington. Lt. Brown gave a sworn statement in which he recounted his interaction with this man, the pertinent details of which have been corroborated by the numerous motorists who witnessed various portions of the incident.

Statement of Lt. Clayton Brown

The following is a summary of Lt. Brown’s written statement.

Lt. Brown stated that upon observing the elderly man [later identified as Frank Escribano] in the shoulder area of Route 8, he drove onto the shoulder behind the man and sounded his horn in an attempt to get the man’s attention. The man, however, continued to walk northbound without acknowledging Lt. Brown. Lt. Brown then parked and exited his cruiser. He walked to within 12 -14 feet of the man, and called out to the man. At that point, the man turned around quickly, crouched down, and reached into his right side waistband area with both hands. Lt. Brown stated that he feared the man was going to produce a weapon, so he drew his firearm. The man did in fact produce a large knife from his waistband area, and Lt. Brown identified himself as State Police, and commanded him to drop the knife. The man did not comply, but rather was rapidly flipping the knife in the air and catching it. Lt. Brown described the man as “handl[ing] the knife in an extremely proficient manner.” The man walked toward Lt. Brown thrusting the knife in a stabbing manner, which caused Lt. Brown to believe that he was in imminent life threatening danger. Lt. Brown entered his cruiser. The man continued advancing upon Lt. Brown, brandishing the knife, and reached the front left side of the cruiser as Lt. Brown began to back the vehicle within the shoulder. Lt. Brown backed the vehicle approximately 75-100 feet and advised dispatch of the situation.

The man continued advancing upon Lt. Brown, thrusting the knife forward toward him. Lt. Brown exited his cruiser, drew his firearm, identified himself and commanded the man to drop the weapon. The man did not comply, but rather, rapidly charged at Lt. Brown, reaching the left front area of the cruiser. Lt. Brown believed that he was in imminent life threatening danger, so he re-entered his cruiser and backed up a second time approximately 75 feet within the shoulder away from the man.

Lt. Brown advised dispatch that the man was charging him. He again exited his cruiser, drew his gun, identified himself and commanded the man to drop his weapon. The man did not comply, but rather continued to advance in the same manner as before. At this time, Lt. Brown observed a red truck in the shoulder.

Lt. Brown feared that the man was going to enter the travel portion of the highway, which would cause a danger to both him and motorists, so he backed his cruiser, for a third time, across the travel lane of the Exit 43 entrance ramp to block traffic. Again Lt. Brown advised dispatch of his actions, exited the vehicle, and pointed his firearm at the man. Lt. Brown observed another motorist traveling onto Route 8 via the entrance ramp. The man walked from the shoulder area onto the travel portion of the entrance ramp, flipping the knife rapidly in his right hand. Lt. Brown once again identified himself and commanded the man to drop the weapon. The man did not comply, but rather continued to advance upon Lt. Brown in an aggressive manner, flipping the knife and thrusting it forward in a stabbing motion.

Lt. Brown now feared that the man was going to walk into the travel portions of Route 8, posing a danger to both himself and oncoming motorists. Lt. Brown advised dispatch of the situation. He then backed his cruiser a fourth time, across both travel lanes of Route 8 in an effort to block traffic. He exited his cruiser and stood by his door. He observed vehicles approaching his cruiser and stopping in both travel lanes of Route 8.

Lt. Brown had his gun drawn. (Follow this link to read a footnote) He saw the man walk west across the travel lanes of Route 8, approaching his cruiser with the knife pointed toward him in a stabbing manner. Lt. Brown yelled numerous times, “State Police, drop the knife, drop the knife, or I’ll shoot.” The man refused to comply, and advanced to a position near the right front passenger side door of the cruiser, still brandishing the knife. Then the man started to walk to his right, around the cruiser. Lt. Brown had his gun pointed at the man, and continued to yell as loud as possible for him to drop the knife. The man turned to face Lt. Brown as Lt. Brown moved from the area behind his door. Lt. Brown stated that he had no further area within which to retreat and moved to a position adjacent to the cruiser’s left front fender, still yelling at the man to drop the knife. The man did not comply, but rather began to flip the knife in a rapid motion, catching it with his right hand, while staring at Lt. Brown. Lt. Brown stated that he was now concerned for the safety of not only himself, but also the motorists who were stopped on Route 8. He fired once, hitting the man in the chest. The man fell to the ground. [see full statement attached as Appendix A].

Witness Statements

Members of the Connecticut State Police Major Crime Squad took statements from individuals with knowledge relevant to the event, the pertinent portions of which are summarized as follows:

Gary Patnode was traveling northbound on Route 8, passing the Exit 43 entrance ramp, when he saw a police cruiser in the right shoulder with its lights illuminated. The officer was standing outside his vehicle. He also saw an unkempt man standing in front of the cruiser, about fifteen feet from the front bumper. This man was holding a knife with an extended arm about waist high with the blade pointed toward the officer. Seeing that the officer was alone, Patnode parked his vehicle in the shoulder ahead of the officer and the armed man, and called 911.

Patnode then backed his vehicle to a position nearer the officer and armed man. He specifically stated that he was mindful not to get so close as to be in the line of fire. Patnode saw the cruiser back away from the armed man, and described the armed man as so close to the cruiser that he might have been touching the vehicle. Patnode stated that the officer backed to a position blocking part of the highway. Patnode then backed his vehicle to a point that blocked the rest of the highway, which was approximately 100 – 150 feet in front of the officer’s cruiser. Patnode also grabbed a red sweatshirt from his own vehicle to use to stop traffic from entering the highway.

Patnode saw the officer outside of his vehicle, standing on the front driver’s side of his vehicle, and the armed man was standing at the front passenger corner of the officer’s vehicle. Patnode heard the officer repeatedly saying something to the armed man, getting louder each time; however, he could not hear all the words that were spoken by the officer. Patnode thought he heard the word, “knife” and knows he heard the word, “sir”. Then Patnode saw and heard one shot and saw the man with the knife fall to his left parallel to the cruiser. After the shot, the officer appeared very shaken up.

Richard Brown was driving his company vehicle, a Lincare van, northbound on Route 8, approaching the Exit 43 entrance ramp. He observed two vehicles, a red pickup and a police cruiser. The red pickup was farthest north. The cruiser was positioned to block traffic. Brown pulled to within 5-8 feet of the officer to ask if he should exit the highway. He observed the officer draw his firearm while using his cruiser as a shield. The officer stated at least three times for an elderly man who was carrying a knife to drop his weapon. Brown stated that the armed man appeared to be “out of it (like mentally disturbed, expressionless)” and did not comply with the officer’s commands. The armed man turned the knife in his hand like an ice pick, swinging in an overhand direction with blade down, while walking toward the officer. When the man reached to within two feet of the passenger side of the cruiser, the officer and the armed man were no more than five feet apart. Brown recalled the armed man standing next to the cruiser at the right rear quarter, close enough to touch the vehicle. He also recalled the officer standing at the left rear corner of the cruiser with gun drawn. The man walked up to the right rear quarter by the right rear tire of the cruiser. Brown explained that these events were happening quickly. The man was a little longer than an arm’s reach away approximately 5-7 feet, and did not drop the knife. The officer continued to tell the armed man to drop his weapon, but the man refused to comply. Then the officer discharged his weapon and the man fell to the ground.

Sarah Reilly was traveling in the left lane of Route 8 northbound in the area of Exit 43. She saw traffic slowing in front of her. A red truck in the left lane had stopped. Then the green truck in front of her stopped, and she stopped. At that time, she noticed that a State Trooper was blocking the travel lane with his cruiser. The cruiser’s emergency lights were activated, and the vehicle was angled to the right across two lanes. The trooper’s driver’s side door was open, and he was standing outside, between the door and the vehicle. The trooper had his gun drawn and pointed toward the shoulder area.

Reilly looked into the shoulder area and there saw an elderly male with a knife in his left hand, staggering toward the trooper. Reilly stated that the man “seemed kind of crazy . . . as if he was on some kind of drug or something.” Reilly did not have her windows down and could not hear, but she stated that the trooper was yelling at the man, and the trooper continued to yell at the man as he approached him. The man did not acknowledge the trooper’s commands, and continued to walk toward the trooper with the knife in his hand, blade pointed toward the trooper. Reilly stated that she believed that the man intended to use the knife on the trooper. The man kept getting closer and closer to the trooper. The man got to the front right corner of the trooper’s vehicle. Reilly stated that at that point, the distance between the trooper and the man was approximately 5 feet but definitely less than 10 feet, and the trooper shot the man. The man staggered away from the trooper, with the knife in his hand, going towards the passenger side of the cruiser. He got about halfway down the passenger side of the cruiser and then fell to the ground on his left side.

Reilly stated, “It seemed as if this guy wasn’t going to stop coming at the trooper with the knife and that was the only option the trooper had. I believe the trooper gave this guy more than enough opportunity to stop and drop the knife before he shot him. The guy just kept coming and that gave the trooper no other option as I don’t know what else the trooper could have done. . . . If I was in the trooper’s shoes there is no doubt I would have done the same thing, shot the guy when he did.”

Kenneth Huber was driving on Route 8 northbound . He stated that he moved into the left travel lane when he saw a State Police cruiser with its emergency lights illuminated, stopped in the area of the right lane and the Exit 43 entrance ramp. He also saw a Lincare van stopped on the right in the area between the right travel lane and the entrance ramp. Huber thought there was an accident so he stopped his vehicle in the left lane.

Huber then saw the cruiser back up, and stop such that it was blocking the right lane. The trooper exited his vehicle. At the same time, Huber saw an elderly man walking on the entrance ramp toward the right lane. Huber described the elderly man as hobbling, unsteady, and possibly drunk. The man was holding something in front of his body, with his two hands pointed out, just above his waist; however, Huber could not identify the object. Huber additionally stated that the man was stumbling and walking from the on-ramp toward Huber’s vehicle. As the man was walking in the area between the entrance ramp and the right lane, Huber heard the trooper yell, “drop your weapon.” When the man heard the trooper yell, the man turned toward the passenger side of the cruiser, raised both his hands with the object, and pointed them toward the trooper. The trooper had yelled, “drop your weapon” about three times by this point. The armed man did not slow down, but rather continued toward the police cruiser. The trooper yelled one more time, “drop your weapon.” The armed man did not comply and continued toward the trooper and the cruiser. Huber saw the trooper fire one time. Huber stated that he believed that the trooper was on the driver’s side of the cruiser toward the back of the cruiser when he fired. Huber estimated that the armed man was about 10 feet from the trooper when the trooper fired. Huber stated that he clearly heard and understood the trooper’s commands during the incident.

John Mascia was driving on Route 8 northbound approaching the bend in the road near the entrance ramp for Exit 43. He noticed a State Trooper just before and in the travel lane of the entrance ramp, and a red truck on the right side of the road. Mascia moved to the left lane because he thought the trooper was stopping the red truck. As he was moving to the left lane, the trooper backed up quickly, and stopped his cruiser with its nose pointing northeast, so that it was blocking both travel lanes. Mascia then saw an older man walking on the asphalt of the entrance ramp who appeared to be coming from the grass area. Other vehicles around Mascia were approaching the trooper and stopping – a red truck in front of him in the left lane; a white van in the right lane. Mascia eventually stopped his vehicle approximately 25 yards from the cruiser, as he was pulling back into the right lane, with the red truck in front of him in the left lane and the white van to his right. The man crossed the travel lanes in front of the white van. The trooper exited his vehicle and went behind his vehicle. Mascia stated that he lost sight of the trooper because the red truck blocked his view. The man was walking, limping, quickly toward the trooper. The man had a shiny object in his right hand which looked like a knife, about a foot long. Mascia stated, “I saw this shiny object as the individual flipped the object onto the handle in his hand. He caught it perfectly.” Mascia further stated that the man held this object at waist height, about two feet in front of him, pointed at the trooper. Mascia stated that the man was walking toward the cruiser, and when he was about eight feet from the front of the cruiser, he heard a shot and saw the man fall to his knees. Mascia acknowledged that “everything is foggy now while remembering this.” He then described the man’s back to him when he fell. In his drawing of the scene, Mascia positions the man’s head in close proximity to the front passenger corner of the cruiser. He stated that he saw the trooper come around from the back of his vehicle with his gun drawn, look at the man, then back away. Another trooper arrived on scene and handcuffed the man.

Yvon Michaud was driving onto Route 8 northbound via the Exit 43 entrance ramp in his company truck [Boar’s Head]. He stated that as he was traveling up the ramp, he saw a white Lincare van stopped at an angle on the shoulder area of Route 8, and the nose of a police cruiser to the left of the van within the travel lanes of Route 8. He also saw a red pickup in the right shoulder of the on-ramp.

Michaud saw a man walking in the middle of the on ramp, about 50 yards in front of him toward the area of the van and cruiser. He stated that he stayed in his vehicle because “he was not sure what was going on, or if there was danger ahead.”

Michaud described the man as “walking as if he was fixated on something.” Although he had a limp, the man was walking quickly. When the man reached the front of the van, Michaud heard a pop. He described the man being in the area between the cruiser and the van, but in front of them, when he fell to the ground. Michaud did not hear any yelling, and could not see anything in the man’s hands. He stated that he did not get a clear view of the man’s right side.

Jimmie Lynn Danaher and Irene Pantschenko were traveling together in the same vehicle. They passed a trooper while his cruiser was still within the northbound shoulder, but did not stop.

Danaher, who was the passenger, saw an elderly man walking towards the front of the cruiser. Danaher also saw the trooper walk quickly around the front of his cruiser, reaching into his cruiser driver’s side door with his right hand, keeping his left hand behind him. Danaher thought that something was wrong because the trooper was moving so quickly.

Pantschenko, who was the driver, saw a man running toward a police cruiser that was parked off the right side of the highway. She also saw a red truck parked ahead of the man and the police car.

Socorro Rickevicius is the sister of the decedent, Frank Escribano. She resided on Harwinton Avenue in Torrington. She spoke with a State Police detective on July 12, 2012, the day of the incident. Mrs. Rickevicius stated that her brother lived with her, and that she believed that he was mentally retarded and suffering from Alzheimer’s; however, he had not been to a doctor and was not on any medication.

Mrs. Rickevicius stated that on the morning of July 12, 2012, her brother awoke and pulled a “big” knife on her. She stated that Frank then pointed the knife at himself, like he was going to use it on himself. She asked for the knife, and he gave it to her. However, he stated that he was going outside and “make the cops shoot him.” Then he left the house, walking down the road.

On July 18, 2012, Mrs. Rickevicius again spoke to police. She stated that she did not recall speaking with the police detective on July 12, 2012. She stated that Frank had lived with her for the past 13 or 14 years. She reiterated that Frank was a “very simple person…his brain was like a kid.” She explained that he would do things to aggravate people, and that “he would have mood swings and temper tantrums like a kid.” She also stated that Frank was not a violent person, but then stated, “I think that if he had gotten close enough to the trooper he would have stabbed him.”

Eddie Rickevicius is the son of Socorro Rickevicius and the nephew of the decedent, Frank Escribano. Mr. Rickevicius is a retired Watertown Police Officer, who had been with the department for 27 years. He gave a statement to police detailing background information about his uncle.

Mr. Rickevicius stated that his uncle Frank had lived with his mom Socorro for the past 15-20 years. He described Frank as slow, and further stated that his mental state had been declining over the past 3-5 years. He stated that Frank did not like to go to the doctor’s or to the hospital. He explained that “Frank was not capable of looking after himself, such as cooking or going out into the community. He was never alone in public, because he would get disoriented and would get lost.”

Mr. Rickevicius stated that Frank was “always looking to stir things up with family members to get a reaction” and that he liked to watch cowboy movies and would fantasize about being a cowboy and other characters. Although Mr. Rickevicius had not yet been told that Frank had been shot after confronting Lt. Brown, Mr. Rickevicius stated that he assumed as much, and said “I feel bad for the State Trooper, because I know that Frank must have pushed him to shoot him, that is something Frank would have done for a reaction.”

Mr. Rickevicius stated that his wife, Lisa, speaks with his mom almost daily. He stated that Lisa told him that on July 11 (sic) at about 9:00 am, his wife called him and asked him to call his mother because she was very upset about Frank pulling a knife on her.

Mr. Rickevicius called his mom and stated that his mom told him that Frank pulled a knife on her when she confronted him about throwing her belongings away. She told her son that she took the knife away from Frank, and that before Frank left the house, he told her that he was going to find a “shoot’em out.”

Lisa Rickevicius is married to Eddie Rickevicius. She spoke with Socorro Rickevicius on the morning of the incident. Lisa Rickevicius reported that Socorro had told her that Mr. Escribano had come at her with a knife and she (Socorro) had taken it away from him. Lisa Rickevicius also stated that Socorro had informed her that Mr. Escribano had left the house and she could not find him.

Responding Officers

Trooper Chad Gomez was first to arrive on the scene. Emergency services personnel, Trooper William Arbour, Trooper Todd Fedigan, and numerous officers from the Torrington Police Department also arrived quickly at the scene.

Trooper Gomez immediately saw a man lying near the cruiser’s front passenger side tire. The man’s head was facing the cruiser, and positioned south of his legs. Trooper Gomez located a large metal knife on the ground, immediately in front of the man’s hands. He also located a knife sheath tucked on the man’s right side beltline as he rendered first aid.

Tiffany Cattey, Campion Ambulance Shift Supervisor, also noted the knife and its location adjacent to the passenger side of the cruiser. She similarly located the empty knife sheath attached to the right waistband area of the man’s pants while she was removing his clothing at the scene.

Troopers Gomez, Arbour and Fedigan each had enabled their cruisers’ video cameras while responding to the call. Lt. Brown gave a quick recitation of the encounter to each of these troopers as they arrived on scene. These on-scene recitations were captured on video, and comport with Lt. Brown’s written statement, as well as with eye witness accounts of the event.

Scene Evidence

Lt. Brown provided his firearm to investigators. His weapon was identified as a .40 caliber Sig Sauer semi-automatic pistol.

Detectives found and seized one “Federal” .40 caliber S & W spent shell casing from the ground in front of Lt. Brown’s cruiser. Investigators also located and seized a 10 ¼ inch hunting style knife from the ground near the passenger side of Lt. Brown’s cruiser. The knife’s cutting edge measured approximately 5 ¾ inches.

The Connecticut State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Squad (“CARS”) created a sketch map to scale of the scene whereon they plotted the initial locations of Lt. Brown and Mr. Escribano when Lt. Brown first encountered him; the subsequent two locations to which Lt. Brown retreated; and the final locations of Lt. Brown and the decedent. These locations were identified at the scene by Lt. Brown. The analysis of the CARS unit establishes that Lt. Brown retreated 254 feet 11 inches from Mr. Escribano prior to exercising deadly force. The analysis further establishes that Mr. Escribano followed Lt. Brown approximately 299 feet 8 inches from the point at which Lt. Brown initially encountered him to the point at which he was shot.

Additionally the CARS unit and the Major Crime Squad identified the locations of witness vehicles and evidence seized. Two witnesses were driving two different red pick-up trucks. Mr. Patnode’s red truck was located on the right shoulder / entrance ramp of the highway. Mr. Huber’s red truck was located in the left travel lane of the highway.

Report of the Chief Medical Examiner

An autopsy was conducted on Mr. Escribano. The medical examiner determined that Mr. Escribano died as a result of a single gunshot wound to the chest damaging the heart, left lung and liver. A neuropathology consult revealed a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease and cerebral arteriosclerosis. No drugs or alcohol were detected in blood samples obtained from the decedent. The manner of death was listed as homicide.

APPLICABLE LAW

Section 53a-22 (c) of the General Statutes permits a police officer to use deadly physical force upon another person when he reasonably believes such to be necessary to defend himself or a third person from the use or imminent use of deadly physical force. The test to determine reasonableness is both subjective and objective. First, the officer must believe that the use of deadly force is necessary to defend himself or another from the imminent use of deadly physical force. Second, the belief must be objectively reasonable. See State v. Smith , 73 Conn. App. 173, cert. denied, 262 Conn. 923 (2002). The burden is on the state to disprove beyond a reasonable doubt the elements of self-defense as set forth in section 53a-22. State v. Smith, supra, 73 Conn. App. at 185-86.

The test is not whether it was in fact necessary for the officer to use deadly physical force in order to defend against the imminent use of deadly physical force. The test is whether the officer believed it was necessary to use deadly physical force and whether such belief was objectively reasonable, based on the facts and circumstances known to the police officer at the time the decision to use deadly force was made. See State v. Silveira, 198 Conn. 454 (1986), State v. Adams, 52 Conn. App. 643 (1999).

The United States Supreme Court has explained this test in a civil rights case.

“The ‘reasonableness’ of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on scene rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight. . .The calculus of reasonableness must embody allowance of the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second decisions - in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving—about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation.” Graham v. Connor , 490 U.S. 386 (1989).

“The appropriate inquiry is whether the officers acted reasonably, not whether they had less intrusive alternatives available to them.” Scott v. Henrich, 39 F.3d. 912, 915 (9th Cir. 1992).

CONCLUSION

The account given by Lt. Clayton Brown as to the events surrounding the tragic shooting of Frank Escribano is corroborated by the witness statements, the evidence seized, and the postmortem examination findings.

The evidence establishes that Mr. Escribano was disturbed on the morning of July 12, 2012. He had pointed a knife at his sister Socorro, which she took away from him. He thereafter left the house on foot, stating that he was looking for a “shoot’em up” with the police. The autopsy revealed that Mr. Escribano suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease and cerebral arteriosclerosis.

The evidence establishes that Lt. Brown came upon Frank Escribano, age 78, on Route 8 in Torrington quite by happenstance. The situation quickly devolved into one where Mr. Escribano, repeatedly advanced on Lt. Brown, brandishing a knife in a threatening and proficient manner. Lt. Brown made multiple efforts to evade Mr. Escribano who refused to heed the officer’s repeated commands to drop his weapon. Mr. Escribano pursued Lt. Brown for approximately 299 feet. Lt. Brown, for his part, retreated four times at his own peril, ultimately backing his cruiser into commuter traffic on a limited access highway. Mr. Escribano, armed with a knife, approached to within five to ten feet of Lt. Brown. Only when Lt. Brown could no longer retreat and Mr. Escribano continued his armed advance, did Lt. Brown resort to the use of deadly force.

It is the conclusion of this State’s Attorney that Lt. Brown reasonably and justifiably believed that he and stopped motorists on Rt. 8 were in imminent danger of being subjected to deadly physical force. It is further concluded that Lt. Brown was justified in his use of deadly physical force upon Mr. Escribano and that such force was appropriate under section 53a-22 of the General Statutes. Accordingly, no further action will be taken by the Division of Criminal Justice.

I wish to extend my condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Frank Escribano on the loss of their loved one.

Respectfully submitted,

DAVID SHEPACK
State’s Attorney
Judicial District of Litchfield

Dated: November 21, 2012

FOOTNOTE: Lt. Brown was not armed with a taser.

APPENDIX

Follow this link to read the Appendix (PDF Format - Size 276K)



Content Last Modified on 11/26/2012 12:04:20 PM