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BWC: Man armed with two knives raises one toward officers before OIS

The man held a knife in each hand as officers and his father tried to persuade him to surrender; he became agitated and moved one knife when an officer prepared to deploy a TASER

By Kellie Love
Hartford Courant

BOLTON, Conn. — The Connecticut Office of Inspector General has released the body camera footage from an officer-involved shooting in Bolton on March 1.

The Connecticut State Police received a report around 2:15 p.m. last Friday that a man, later identified as 29-year-old Maxim Nowak, was experiencing a mental health crisis at a residence on Meadow Road in Bolton, according to the report from Inspector General Robert Devlin.

Nowak’s family reportedly told state police he was threatening to harm himself and others and was waving a knife, the report said.

Troopers Wendy Garcia-Campos, Doug Bernier and Brian Contenta from Troop K were dispatched to the residence. As troopers arrived, they encountered Nowak in the main hallway of the home holding two knives, Contenta’s bodycam footage shows.

The troopers made several efforts to convince Nowak to drop the knives, but he refused.

“Relax Maxwell come on buddy,” Contenta can be heard saying on the bodycam footage.

“Come on Maxwell drop the gun. Drop the knife OK Maxwell?” Contenta said, immediately correcting himself after referring to the knife as a gun. “Drop the knife. Drop the knife buddy come on. Maxwell please buddy drop it you know me. Maxwell, please drop it, you know me, buddy.”

Nowak’s father is heard on the bodycam footage pleading with his son.

“Please stay out of this Dad,” Nowak said.

Contenta calls for Garcia-Campos and tells her to stay where she is, as Bernier is heard on the footage saying, “I got Taser.”

As the troopers continue to ask Nowak to put the knife down, Nowak yells at Bernier. “Put the Taser down. Drop the (expletive) Taser,” he says.

“You put the knife down and I will put my Taser down,” Bernier tells him.

At that point, Nowak is seen raising a knife in his left hand, as Bernier deploys his Taser and Contenta discharges his firearm multiple times, striking Nowak.

Troopers and EMS treated Nowak on the scene, according to the report. He was transported to Hartford Hospital where his status is currently unknown.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing and is led by the Office of the Inspector General, with assistance from the Connecticut State Police Eastern District Major Crime Squad and the Tolland Judicial District State’s Attorney’s Office.

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