The man accused of robbing a CVS pharmacy in Willimantic at knifepoint Tuesday morning tried to take his own life by cutting his neck when officers arrived at his home on Main Street, according to police.
Police said Daniel Ashford, 37, robbed the CVS at 1200 Main Street, then went back to his home down the road at 1163 Main Street. No one was hurt in the incident but police said Ashford tried to slit his own throat Tuesday afternoon when officers tracked him to the house.
"There was an initial threat toward officers that were inside the apartment. He turned the knife on himself," Willimantic police spokesman Cpl. Stanley Parizo said Tuesday evening. "He was subdued with the least lethal methods and he was transported to Windham Hospital."
An NBC Connecticut camera was the only one rolling when Ashford was led from his home in handcuffs with a bandage around his neck. He suffered non-life threatening injuries and left the scene in an ambulance.
Police said Ashford may be a repeat offender.
"We are attempting to link him to two other recent robberies within the city: one with the Subway on High Street and the other just last week, next door to the CVS, across the street from where this gentleman lives," Parizo said.
The owner of Windham Wine and Spirits, located next door to the CVS, said he recognized Ashford as the robber who held up his store.
"He walked in the front door, proceeded behind the counter, showed a knife to one of my employees and demanded money," said liquor store co-owner Sebby Randazzo. "It looked like the same gentleman – same body type, same haircut."
Parizo said Ashford is considered a dangerous man is believed to have been acting alone. All robberies happened during daylight hours and no one was hurt in any of the incidents.
"We've had a litany of robberies since September," Parizo said. "The criminal investigation division has worked tirelessly."
Ashford has been charged with firs-degree robbery, sixth-degree larceny, threatening, second-degree breach of peace and interfering with police in connection with Tuesday's robbery.
He was released from the hospital and held on $500,000 bond ahead of his court appearance Wednesday morning.