Weston Police Chief John Troxell relayed the following information about the incident:
On Saturday, Feb. 23, around 7:48 p.m., the Weston Communications Center received a 9-1-1 call from Bayard Dodge, 57, of September Lane, who was reporting a domestic incident.
The center then received a second call from Mr. Dodge telling officers not to respond to the 9-1-1 call.
Chief Troxell said it is the department’s standard operating procedure to respond to all 9-1-1 calls, especially those that involve domestic incidents.
An officer then called Mr. Dodge, who reportedly threatened police with physical harm if they came to his house.
Proceeding to the home, Weston police asked for mutual aid backup from Redding and Wilton, and both departments sent officers to the scene. A SWAT team was asked to stand by, although as the incident unfolded, it was not needed, Chief Troxell said.
Wilton police Chief Mike Lombardo suggested calling the complainant and asking him to meet the officers in the driveway of his home, and Chief Troxell agreed.
After police arrived, they asked Mr. Dodge to come to them and surrender himself for arrest. When he refused, police tried to take him into custody. Mr. Dodge allegedly became uncooperative and verbally abusive to the officers. Chief Troxell said alcohol may have played a part in the disturbance.
Mr. Dodge was warned that if he did not comply, police would use a Taser (stun gun) on him. He allegedly responded with more verbal abuse and was physically non-compliant. A Weston officer then deployed a Taser on him, and Mr. Dodge was taken into custody without further incident.
EMS was called to the scene to transport Mr. Dodge to Norwalk Hospital to have the prongs of the Taser removed. After the prongs were taken out, Mr. Dodge was transported back to Weston police headquarters.
Mr. Dodge was charged with disorderly conduct, interfering with an officer due to noncompliance with lawful demands, threatening in the second degree, use of physical force to resist arrest, and breach of peace in the second degree.
He was released on $2,500 bond, and had a court date of Monday, Feb. 25.
This was the first incident in town in which Weston police officers used a Taser on an individual.
The department was equipped with Tasers late last year, following an incident on Newtown Turnpike in Weston, where Redding police used a Taser in order to subdue and arrest a man who ran into the woods after he rammed into three vehicles with a rental car and punched out the window of a Redding police cruiser. At that time, Weston police did not have Tasers.
After that incident, the Weston Police Commission requested an additional appropriation from the Board of Selectmen for the purchase of Tasers. But the selectmen declined to vote on the issue and said the request should be put in next year’s (2013-14) budget.
Following public outcry over that decision, the department received more than $11,000 in private donations and all officers were equipped with Tasers and provided with training. In addition, the department adopted a written policy with rules on how to handle Taser situations.
Chief Troxell said this first Taser incident went well. “The officers followed the procedures properly,” he said.
He noted that no one was hurt, and the arrest went smoothly after the Taser was deployed.
The department’s Taser policy requires that anyone shot with one is to be transported to the hospital to have the prongs removed, which is what was done with Mr. Dodge, Chief Troxell said.