New Haven Police said a man that was being transported to the police department Sunday night was seriously injured after an officer maneuvered to avoid a crash.
During a news conference, police said 36-year-old Richard Cox was being uncooperative and sustained serious injuries during the incident. Hospital officials said he underwent surgery and there is a risk of paralysis.
Officers were called to a home on Lilac Street on a reported weapons complaint. Officials arrested Cox based on information learned during their investigation.
Cox was in possession of a handgun and was being uncooperative with police during his arrest, according to police. Authorities said Cox is a convicted felon and isn't allowed to have a gun.
An officer transporting Cox to the police department had to make an "evasive maneuver" to prevent getting into a car crash in the area of Division and Mansfield streets.
Cox told the officer that he was injured during the incident, and he also alerted authorities at the police department. He was ultimately taken the hospital within minutes, according to police.
Authorities said Cox was very uncooperative with officials during transport. He apparently moved around a lot, stood in the car and kicked the car door.
"The investigation is in its early stages but we want to be very proactive in sharing as much as we can with the public," Mayor Justin Elicker said.
Assistant Chief Karl Jacobson said protocol states that officers are supposed to stop wherever and whenever they realize a person is injured. The van that Cox was being transported in did not have seatbelts, but rather hooks that detainees can hold while handcuffed. Only one of three police vans have seatbelts.
As a result of the incident, Jacobson said the two transport vans without seatbelts will be temporarily put out of service.
Acting Police Chief Regina Rush-Kittle said there will be an immediate and thorough internal affairs investigation into the incident. The Office of the Inspector General and the State's Attorney's Office will be involved.
The investigation will determine whether or not there were any breaches in protocol and what further actions may be appropriate.
Police said there is still a lot they don't know and they're reviewing video footage obtained. They expect to release this footage to the public on Tuesday.
Cox faces charges including criminal possession of a firearm, threatening, breach of peace, and more.
It's unknown how Cox is doing at this time, but police said it appears as though things are looking up. Initial reports indicated that his injuries are severe, and there is still a paralysis concern, police said.
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