New Haven police lieutenant facing serious charges after holding family hostage

NEW HAVEN --  A New Haven police lieutenant safely surrendered to officials Thursday night after he barricaded himself inside a house. On Friday afternoon, New Haven police said Lieutenant Rahgue Tennant 'assaulted his wife over the course of several days' and 'is facing serious criminal charges', although no formal charges have yet been filed.

New Haven police said they were notified of a barricaded person at a private, single-family home on Tolli Terrace in the city’s Morse Cove neighborhood on Thursday just before 6 p.m.

"It was soon learned the barricaded person is a veteran New Haven Police Lieutenant, with eighteen years with the department, and is currently assigned to the Patrol Division," New Haven Public Information Officer David Hartman said.

New Haven police responded to the home, in addition to SWAT and other officials.

"Communications by phone were soon established with the despondent department member," police said, "He requested help and agreed to come out peacefully."

Police said when officials were in place, Townsend Avenue was closed to traffic and neighbors were told to stay inside inside their homes.

"Thankfully, the department member surrendered without further incident and was removed to the hospital," police said. "Members of the man’s family had been able to leave the home prior to the response and sought refuge at a neighbor’s home nearby. They were medically evaluated and are in the care of the department."

Police said the lieutenant will be afforded all available resources, "as would anyone in such a situation."

On Friday, a police press release said Tennant "assaulted his wife over the course of several days before unlawfully holding her and their children in their Morris Cove home." The release also said the investigation "has revealed a disturbing pattern of domestic abuse," and that Tennant, who has three young children, is suspended from the force pending the outcome of the case.

The release also quoted Chief Anthony Campbell as saying "There is no special treatment of officers by this department when it comes to the commission of a crime. We have an obligation to the victims… an obligation to uphold the law and assure that the perpetrators of crimes are held accountable."

Campbell also said that the well-being of the family is their first priority.

The Connecticut State's Attorney is assisting in the case.