Journalism / New Haven Register

Teen arrested after confrontation in North Branford

By Rachael Scarborough King, Register Staff
Aug. 7, 2008

NORTH BRANFORD — A teenager who tried to break into a stranger’s house last week and had to be doused in pepper spray and shocked with a Taser before police could subdue him was arrested Wednesday night, police said.

Officers used a Taser stun gun four times on the suspect, Greg Bryant, 19, of Rocky Hill. Police said he was apparently high on hallucinogenic drugs during the incident Friday night.

Homeowner Robert Ciambra Jr. said the suspect appeared at his Clintonville Road house late Friday, and began ringing the doorbell and demanding to be let in. Ciambra said the man punched the wooden front door, causing it to splinter, and broke a front window with his fist.

When a police officer arrived at 11:30 p.m., Bryant began walking toward him with shards of glass in his bloody hands, according to a police report. The officer “feared for (his) safety” and told Bryant to stop, but Bryant began screaming obscenities at the officer and said, “I’ll kill you,” police said.

After ignoring more warnings, police said the officer fired his Taser at Bryant, causing him to fall down.

Police said Bryant pulled the Taser prongs out of his body and got up again. Two officers eventually used a Taser gun four times in addition to pepper spray before they were able to handcuff him, police said.

He was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital Friday night, so police did not arrest the suspect immediately. After obtaining a warrant Wednesday, police arrested him.

The arrest warrant, which a judge signed Wednesday, charges Bryant with threatening, criminal mischief, criminal attempt to commit assault on a police officer, interfering with an officer, use and possession of drug paraphernalia and use and possession of a controlled substance. Ciambra said he found a bag of what appeared to be marijuana on his front step after the incident.

Ciambra said he feared for his life during the incident, during which he said the suspect rushed at his door several times. His wife and two teenage children were home at the time.

“The cops showed great restraint, in my opinion,” he said. “I’m just trying to let people know that this stuff actually does happen more than they think. … I mean, I’ll never leave this house unlocked again.”

Police said Bryant did not know Ciambra. He was apparently visiting friends who also live in Northford. The friends said he became agitated while they were driving, and when the car stopped near the intersection of Clintonville Road and Village Street he got out of the car and ran off, police said.

Bryant is scheduled to appear in Superior Court in New Haven Wednesday.

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