The city of Hartford has recognized three people who rushed to the aid of a Hartford police officer who was attacked while responding to a landlord-tenant dispute at a luxury apartment building earlier this month.
Officer Jill Kidik, a 12-year-veteran of the police department, was critically wounded on May 17 while responding to assist an eviction process at an apartment building at 5 Constitution Plaza in Hartford.
Hartford police said the actions of three employees in the building - Jacqueline Marciano, Marvin Dixon and Jose Casanova - saved Kidik’s life.
The three were awarded the Hartford Police Department’s Distinguished Citizens Award at a ceremony Tuesday night.
According to a statement from Hartford Chief of Police David Rosado, the incident began when Kidik responded to the Spectra Apartments for a report of property damage caused by a tenant. Kidik was met by Assistant Property Manager Jacqueline Marciano, who made the report.
Kidik was the first officer at the scene and tried to talk to the tenant, later identified as 39-year-old Chevoughn Augustin, into leaving the building. Marciano, who saw that Augustin was being uncooperative, contacted building maintenance workers Marvin Dixon and Jose Casanova for help, according to police.
Police said while Marciano went for help, Augustin attacked Kidik with a large kitchen knife, stabbing the officer in the throat multiple times.
When Dixon and Casanova arrived, they found Augustin on the floor holding Kidik down and continuing to stab her.
“Without hesitation, despite the extreme peril they faced, they collectively rushed the assailant, managed to knock her down and away from the Officer and disarmed her,” wrote Chief Rosado.
Police said Dixon and Casanova held Augustin while Marciano hurried to Kidik and tried to stop the bleeding while also calling 911 for help. More Hartford police officers arrived on scene and took over. Police said Marciano stayed with Kidick until the officer was taken to Hartford Hospital by ambulance.
“Without a shadow of doubt, had Ms. Marciano, Mr. Dixon and Mr. Casanova not taken the action they did, Officer Kidik would have died,” Rosado’s statement read.
Kidik has undergone intensive treatment for multiple stab wounds. She survived and is currently recovering at home.
“Ms. Marciano, your extraordinary courage, perseverance and selflessness in rendering lifesaving aid to an injured Police Officer in immediate need of assistance is reflective of your character as a human being. Mr. Dixon, Mr. Casanova, your extraordinary courage and selflessness in electing to disarm a knife wielding assailant who critically injured a Police Officer is also testament to your character as human beings. Simply stated, your actions saved Officer Kidik’s life,” Rosado wrote.
Both Dixon and Casanova said they didn't even stop to think when they saw Kidik needed help - they just acted.
"It was hard what I see but I knew that I has to help the officer because she was in danger," Casanova said.
"I just seen someone that needed some help I just acted upon just helping another human being," Dixon added.
Marciano said she was proud of her team and how they did not hesitate at all.
"I like to think I did what any other person would do who cares about another human being," she said of her own role.
Marciano said Kidik was able to show her where to apply pressure and she did her best to take care of her.
"I think we are all thankful for people that decide to go into law enforcement and do this on a daily basis because we definitely learned that day that you truly never know," Marciano added.
All three said they were glad Kidik survived and that they hoped to see her when she recovers.
"I would just like to see her smile and be happy and knowing that she’s okay," Dixon said.
Augustin was taken into custody. She faces charges of attempt to commit murder, first-degree assault, assault on a police officer, and criminal mischief. She is being held on a $2 million bond and is next scheduled to appear in court on June 5.