Connecticut police officer under criminal investigation for using stun gun on suspect 3 times

A Connecticut police officer shocked a shoplifting suspect three times with a stun gun, including when the man was on the ground apologizing, according to police body camera video released Monday as officials announced criminal and internal affairs investigations.

Naugatuck Officer Nicholas Kehoss is seen on the video pulling the stun gun trigger for about five seconds during each of the three times. Kehoss also yells at the man, tells him to “shut up” and calls him an “idiot" during the arrest on Oct. 14, according to the video.

Police said the man, Jarell Day, 33, of Waterbury, was suspected of stealing $200 worth of beer in a robbery at a Naugatuck grocery store and later rammed police cruisers with a car as he fled from officers. Day crashed the car and fled on foot, but Kehoss caught up to him, according to the video.

Day was showing his hands when Kehoss ordered him to get on the ground and first fired the stun gun, the video shows. Day falls to the ground and Kehoss orders him to get on his stomach. Day rolls onto his side and tells the officer he is sorry, and Kehoss continues to yell at him to get onto his stomach and pulls the stun gun trigger a second time, the video shows.

Kehoss then orders Day to put his hands behind his back, according to the video. Day pleads, “No, no, please,” just before Kehoss pulls the trigger a third time, as the officer warns him that he is going to use the stun gun again, the video shows.

Neither Day nor officers were injured in the series of events.

Day was charged with robbery, attempted assault of a police officer, reckless driving and several other crimes. He was detained on bond Monday. Online court records show he is being represented by the public defender’s office, where no one answered the phone late Monday afternoon.

Naugatuck Police Chief C. Colin McAllister said Monday that state police were investigating Kehoss's use of force, and the department is doing an internal affairs investigation.

“Early on in that process, we identified several concerns for this use of force,” McAllister said.

Kehoss did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment Monday. He is on paid leave pending the investigations.

McAllister said Kehoss has a disciplinary history with the department but did not elaborate. In 2021, Kehoss was found justified in shooting at a car three times when it hit his cruiser, which was pushed into him and knocked him down, as the driver tried to flee a stop. The bullets didn't hit anyone.