New Haven Police Lt. Accused of Holding Family Hostage Is Suspended

A New Haven police lieutenant who is accused of assaulting his wife and holding his family hostage in their home has been suspended and police said he is facing serious criminal charges.

Police identified the officer as Rahgue Tennant, an 18-year veteran police officer with a wife and three young children.

He is accused of assaulting his wife over the course of several days before holding her and their children in their Morris Cove home on Tolli Terrace in New Haven, according to a news release from police.

"We were led to believe that this was, that people in the home were prevented from leaving for several days," Officer David Hartman said Thursday.

Officers and the SWAT team and Hostage Negotiators were requested at 5:51 p.m. Thursday and mutual aid was requested from the Connecticut State Police Emergency Services Division.

Tennant, who was despondent, requested help and agreed to come out peacefully, police said.

Members of his family did eventually escape the home and went to a neighbor's.

"He did have people in the home with him over the past several days who were able to get out of the home and help with the alert that this was going on," Hartman explained.

Tennant has been taken for psychological testing and Hartman said he's had no previous issues.

"This is a job that is filled with anguish on a daily basis, hour to hour, year to year. And some people reach a breaking point where they’re unable to manage certain things," Hartman said.

The situation prompted road closures and a large police response in the area.

“Today proved that with the right training and the right mindset, officers can perform their duties compassionately, no matter the circumstances, regardless of personal feelings," Chief Anthony Campbell wrote in a statement. "I am pleased with the peaceful resolution and that our officer will now be afforded the care he so desperately wants."

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