Cop who tased suspect several times as man begged him to stop charged with cruelty

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(NEW YORK) — A police officer has been charged with third-degree assault for cruelty against a person after he fired his taser several times at a suspect in an Oct. 14 incident in Naugatuck, Connecticut.

The officer, Nicholas Kehoss, was arrested on Monday after the Naugatuck Police Department released body camera video showing the incident in which Kehoss deployed his taser after a brief pursuit of 33-year-old Jarell Day, who police say was being arrested for stealing $200 worth of beer.

The four-minute, forty-five-second video shows the moment Officer Kehoss and fellow Naugatuck officer John Williams first encounter Day in his car with several cases of beer in the back seat. As Williams attempted to open the passenger door, Day drove off.

Kehoss pursued Day’s vehicle, ultimately catching up to him when Day crashed into a pole. Kehoss got out of his vehicle and started running after Day, yelling “better [expletive] stop” as he drew his taser and fired at Day.

Kehoss told Day to get on his stomach and activated his taser again as Day rolled to his stomach and said “Officer, I’m sorry, I don’t know what the [expletive] happened.” Kehoss put his hand on Day’s face as he grabbed his hands and placed them behind Day’s back.

Day continued to plead with Kehoss before the officer said, “You’re getting another ride,” and fired his taser again as Day laid on his stomach on the ground.

Documents provided to ABC News by the Naugatuck Police Department show Kehoss has been disciplined by the department several times during his 13-year tenure as a police officer.

Most recently, Kehoss was suspended in Aug. 2022 for completing a version of what Police Chief C. Colin McAllister described as a “boxing-in maneuver” during a traffic stop, a move not authorized during that type of incident.

In a letter to the Naugatuck Police Commission notifying of the disciplinary action taken against Kehoss, Chief McAllister said the same tactic and boxing-in maneuver was cited as the underlying cause that led to Kehoss discharging his firearm at a suspect during a traffic stop incident in 2020.

In 2017, Kehoss responded to help during an attempted traffic stop by another officer, in which Kehoss claimed he’d been struck by the vehicle. An investigation into the incident stated that video evidence showed that Kehoss’ vehicle “clearly had not” been hit, adding that while “this review is unable to provide that officer Kehoss made a false report that his cruiser was struck by the suspect vehicle, it does find the situation troubling and raises reasonable doubt.”

The investigation also recommended Kehoss be “verbally counseled in regards to making radio transmissions that could be construed as trying to justify a pursuit, and that his actions in any future pursuit reviews be closely examined.”

Day is currently facing charges for robbery, larceny, interfering with an officer/resisting, reckless driving and disobeying the signal of an officer but was released on a $200,000 bond.

Kehoss was released on a $50,000 bond on Monday and is scheduled to appear at Waterbury Superior Court on Nov. 8.

Kehoss and Day did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for comment.

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