Norwalk police: Two arrested after man approached police with an ax
Two men were arrested in Norwalk Monday after one of them reportedly responded to an eviction notice with an ax.
Norwalk police say they were met by a group of people Monday morning as a state marshal served an eviction notice obtained by News 12 Connecticut to a homeowner on Sylvester Court.
"The officers were confronted by a group of 15-20 people protesting the eviction, trespassing and obstructing," said Deputy Chief James Walsh, with Norwalk Police.
"We've been here 27 years. This isn't just another house for us," said the homeowner, 59-year-old Andrew Pritchard.
Pritchard first spoke to News 12 Connecticut about eviction notices he received in May. He said a mortgage company he took out a loan with in 2003 defrauded him and is trying to seize his $3.5 million property illegally.
"This at the level of that experience of losing my entire firm and everyone in it," said Pritchard.
Police say Pritchard and 48-year-old Roberto Porzio from Westport were part of a group of people interfering with police.
Porzio's ex-wife said Porzio approached police with an ax.
"He's a tree guy and he had an ax, and he was about to walk on the property to do some tree work and the officers I guess stopped and thought he was going to be violent with it. They, I guess, tackled him," said Nikki Zeoli, Porzio's ex-wife.
"The officers responded professionally as with their training and they were able to de-escalate the situation verbally with minimal force being presented," said Walsh.
Police say no one was hurt.
Pitchard said it's his right under the Connecticut constitution to have a trial by jury, but he's being denied that right.
Porzio and Pritchard posted bond and were released. The two men have court appearances in two weeks.