Bodycam shows Connecticut cop viciously attacked by hammer-wielding man. Was she afraid to act?

A Connecticut police officer was just going about her duty when she was the victim of a violent attack by a crazed man who repeatedly struck her with a claw hammer, with the harrowing incident caught on bodycam video.

When Detective Karli Travis of the Middletown Police Department responded to reports about noise and breaking glass in a residential area, the last thing she likely expected was to be faced with a threat to her life from the individual who charged her with the blunt instrument and, despite warnings to halt, proceeded to rain down blows until she ended the threat by shooting him.

The incident went down on August 12 around 6:30 p.m. when Travis, who runs the Middletown Police Cadet Program as well as serves in the patrol division, approached a house where a man, identified as 52-year-old Winston Tate, reportedly came outside and began to advance with the hammer. Despite warnings to put the weapon down, he ran toward the officer who called for backup before he began striking her.

**WARNING: Disturbing Content**

(Video: YouTube/Office of the Inspector General)

Police said that Travis was “fighting for her life” as the suspect bludgeoned her with the hammer.

“On August 12th at 06:33 hours, Middletown Police Officers were dispatched to the 100 block of Liberty Street for a report of a man yelling and smashing glass. Upon arrival, the first officer on the scene was approached by the suspect who was wielding a blunt object. The suspect hit the officer, knocked the officer to the ground, and then climbed on top of the officer,” the Middletown Police Department said in a news release.

“A violent struggle ensued, and the officer discharged their weapon to defend themselves from deadly bodily injury. The suspect was taken into custody a short time later,” the statement reads. “Tate is charged with Criminal Attempt to Commit Assault in the First Degree, Assault in the Second Degree, Assault on Public Safety Personnel, and interfering with Police. Tate’s bond is set at $500,000.00.”

(Video: Fox 61)

Tate, who was transported to a local hospital for treatment of gunshot wounds has a long rap sheet and has served time for attacking police officers in 2017 and 2020. He was on probation for the 2020 attack when he assaulted Travis, according to WFSB.

“He is a convicted felon that dates back to 1995,” said Middletown Police Chief Erik Costa.

“He’s dangerous. There’s nobody that’s safe from this man,” the state’s attorney said.

“We believe she’s strong and she needs to be known as a heroine obviously,” Costa said of Travis. “She’s resting comfortably at home. She’s being supported. We’re extremely proud of her.”

“It cut deep,” said Middletown Police Department Community Relations Officer Jay Bodell. “She does her job, she does it very well as people have seen but she takes that extra step to do more for the community.”

“One wrong move she might not have came home,” Bodell added.

Travis was treated for her injuries and is expected to make a full recovery.

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