Waterbury, CT – Surveillance footage captured the moment that a convenience store patron attempted to disarm an officer who was holding a door open for him (video below).
The incident occurred at approximately 2 a.m. on Monday outside a gas station on Union Street, WTIC reported.
As two Waterbury police officers exited the business, one of them stopped to hold the door open for a man in the parking lot.
That subject was later identified as 46-year-old Matthew Patterson.
But instead of heading into the store, Patterson suddenly rushed up behind one of the officers as he was walking back to the patrol vehicle with his partner, store surveillance footage showed.
"As the officers continued walking to their patrol vehicle, Patterson attacked and attempted to disarm the officer who held the door for him,” the Waterbury Police Department (WPD) told WTIC. “Patterson grabbed and tried to rip the holstered handgun away from the officer."
The unsuspecting officer immediately covered his weapon and fell backwards onto the pavement, the video showed.
With his attempt to steal the officer’s duty weapon thwarted, the brazen suspect turned and fled on foot.
“Patterson…ignored the officer’s verbal commands to stop,” the department told WTIC. “The second officer deployed a Taser at Patterson which was not effective in stopping him."
The officers chased after Patterson, who continued to fight with them as he was being subdued and handcuffed.
He was subsequently charged with interfering with police, assault of a police officer, criminal attempt at theft of a firearm, and reckless endangerment in the first degree.
“This is a situation that rose to an extreme level,” Waterbury Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo told WTIC. “Patterson attacked the officer and he was looking to disarm him. He pulled violently at the gun, trying to get it off of the officer’s waist.”
Chief Spagnolo praised the officers for how they handled the abrupt attack.
Our officers are focused, very professional. We saw that with this particular incident early Monday morning," he told WFSB. “I’m very glad it ended the way it did.”
Jasmine Lugo, who works at the gas station, said she sold the officers coffee just minutes before the harrowing altercation occurred, WFSB reported.
“[Patterson] could have come in here,” Lugo said. “It’s not about the money. It’s about us – our lives.”
Both officers were injured during the altercation, and one was taken to a local hospital with an injury to his hand, according to WTIC.
They are expected to make full recoveries.
Patterson was also transported to a local hospital for treatment, WFSB reported.
You can watch footage of the officers’ encounter with Patterson in the video below: