Hamden Police Sergeant Accused of Assaulting Suspect

A Hamden police sergeant is accused of assaulting a suspect in North Haven last month.

According to the police report, the North Haven police department was investigating a potential burglary and harassment complaint at 4 Philip Place around 11:45 a.m. on Dec. 31.

The report states that North Haven police officers were standing with the suspect, identified as 38-year-old Vincent Terrone of New Haven, when Hamden Police Sgt. Michael Cirillo entered and began yelling at the suspect.

According to the report, Cirillo grabbed Terrone by the shirt and chest and pushed him backward, then "both parties went to the ground with Cirillo on top of Vincent." Other officers had to pull Cirillo off Terrone because he had the suspect in a headlock.

The report states that Cirrilo was yelling at Terrone, claiming the suspect made threats against his family. North Haven police are investigating threatening text messages allegedly sent by Terrone after a complaint filed earlier that day.

Terrone complained of lower back pain after the confrontation and was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital for evaluation.

The incident was recorded by two North Haven police officers' body cameras.

Officers on scene said Cirillo was cooperative after the incident and turned over his duty weapon. He was charged with third-degree assault and released on a promise to appear. 

According to a follow-up report, on Jan. 2 Terrone requested to withdraw all charges against Cirillo.

Hamden Police Chief Thomas Wydra released the following statement on the matter:

"I was immediately made aware of the arrest of Sergeant Michael Cirillo on December 31, 2017 by the North Haven Police Department. Based on the circumstances involved in the incident as I understand them, Sergeant Cirillo was promptly placed on modified duty and relieved of all police powers and authority, pending the outcome of an internal investigation which was initiated forthwith."

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