A man from Hartford is facing assault on police and hate crime charges after police said he threw a brick through the window of an occupied police car on Monday night and said he hates cops.
An officer, who was working a private duty job with MDC, said that while sitting in his marked police car at the intersection of Laurel Street and Farmington Avenue on a road closure around 9 p.m., his driver's side window was smashed in by a brick.
The officer said the brick nearly missed his head. He suffered minor cuts to his right arm but declined medical attention.
A description of the suspect, later identified as 20-year-old Devon Adams-Almstad, of Hartford, was broadcast and he was quickly apprehended by officers in the area.
According to police, Adams-Almstad spontaneously said "I just smashed a police cruiser's window!" Then he said he "hates white police officers because they shoot black people," according to the incident report.
Police Chief David Rosado released an open letter to the community.
"Attacks on our officers are entirely and unequivocally wrong, counterproductive, and themselves damaging to that relationship," Rosado said. "We should both continue to have a dialogue about the challenges we face and reject any violence directed at our officers because they are there to serve, even in the most dangerous and difficult times."
"Yesterday’s incident involving an individual who was clearly motivated by his hatred of the police is unnecessary and will not be tolerated. It is another example of the difficulties Police face every day. The Hartford Police Union has always and will continue to support our officers and positive engagement in the community," the Hartford Police Union said in a statement Tuesday morning.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin released a statement, saying there is "simply no excuse for attacking a police officer" and said it is fortunate the officer did not suffer any serious injuries.
The incident happened days after police launched an investigation into a videotaped encounter that appears to show a Hartford police sergeant say he was "trigger happy" to a group of young men last week.
"Like many in our city, I am disappointed and angered by the video which was released last week, but anyone who thinks it’s okay to express that anger through violence is doing grievous damage to our community," Bronin said. "Our police officers are ready to put their lives on the line for our community every day, and the vast majority of Hartford police officers serve our city with dedication, compassion, respect, and tremendous professionalism,” the statement from Bronin says.
Adams-Almstad is facing charges including criminal mischief, assault on police, reckless endangerment, hate crime and breach of peace. He is being held on $100,000 bond.
His public defender said Adams-Almstad, a ward of the Department of Children and Families, lives in a group home and has a history of mental health issues.
He is due in court on Sept. 6.