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police & fire

Bridgeport Police Grieve Veteran Officer's Death In Suspected Suicide

A 17-year Bridgeport police veteran has died, according to a statement by Chief A.J. Perez.
A 17-year Bridgeport police veteran has died, according to a statement by Chief A.J. Perez. Photo Credit: Contributed
Large navy blue bows were tied to a utility pole and a closed gate near where police found an unresponsive man in a car Monday morning.
Large navy blue bows were tied to a utility pole and a closed gate near where police found an unresponsive man in a car Monday morning. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Police investigated an unresponsive man in a car near this site in Seaside Park Monday morning.
Police investigated an unresponsive man in a car near this site in Seaside Park Monday morning. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Bridgeport Police Officer Thomas Lattanzio, a 17-year veteran of the force, has died, according to a statement Monday evening from Chief Armando Perez.

The statement came about eight hours after police began investigating a possible suicide of an officer Monday morning in Seaside Park.

“This is a very sad day for the Bridgeport Police Department. Our family has lost a brother officer,” Perez said. “Officer Thomas Lattanzio had dedicated nearly 20 years of his life serving our residents and our city, and we mourn his loss. We will have more to say about the circumstances surrounding Officer Lattanzio's passing in the future.

“For today, we pray for his family and we are comforting each other.”

Lattanzio and Sgt. Paul Scillia were placed on paid leave in October after they were among more than 12 officers who responded to a noise complaint at a 12-year-old’s birthday party at a Colorado Avenue home, according to the Connecticut Post .

Related story: Bridgeport Police Investigate Officer's Suspected Suicide At Seaside Park

The officers were confronted by a number of adults, according to the Connecticut Post. In a video, one officer, who had not been identified, yelled, “Arrest everyone.” The video also shows some officers tackling a man dressed as Superman and pulling a woman dressed as Wonder Woman to a police car, according to the Post.

It was unclear Monday evening whether Lattanzio was still on leave.

Around 9 a.m. Monday, police found an unresponsive man is a silver car on the far eastern end of Seaside Park.

Several police officers were on the scene, which was cleared around 11 a.m.

“Policing is a tough job, and we have hundreds of committed officers who put their lives on the line to protect each of us, every day. As always we will rely on each other and our community for support, for which we are grateful,” Perez’s statement said. “I ask that the public keep the brave men and women of the Bridgeport Police Department in your prayers during this difficult time.”

Click here for the story at the Connecticut Post.

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