Thursday, December 12, 2019

Trooper Kills Arietta Man During Mental Health Check

state police logoNYS Police say that at approximately 8:48 pm on Tuesday, December 10th, they were dispatched from the Mayfield barracks to a single-family residence on Old Piseco Road in Arietta for a person experiencing mental health issues.

Trooper Ryan Mousaw, who responded, reported that he began interviewing the resident, 55-year-old Daniel E. Condon, who was exhibiting signs of instability. Trooper Mousaw said that when he tried to transport him to the hospital for evaluation, Condon began to struggle with him.

Trooper Mousaw reported that he attempted deploy his Division issued Taser, but was unsuccessful. He said Condon struck him in the head with a hatchet, causing a laceration.

“After Condon ignored verbal commands to drop the hatchet, Trooper Mousaw discharged his Division issued pistol, striking him,” a press release issued by the State Police said.

Trooper Mousaw reported that he rendered first aid to Condon, including attaching an Automatic Electronic Defibrillator, but was unable to resuscitate him.

When assistance arrived on scene, Trooper Mousaw was transported to Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville. State Police said he was treated for a head laceration and a sprained right arm and wrist.

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27 Responses

  1. Aaron says:

    This is tragic for everyone involved and we don’t know many details from this case. I would encourage everyone to watch HBO’s eye-opening documentary “Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops” to see how one police department approaches mental illness calls. The positive results that have come from years of work put in by two exceptional veteran officers could serve as a model for law enforcement nationally.

  2. drdirt says:

    Protect and serve?

  3. Justin says:

    Seven shots fired?
    No chance of one or two shots in the shoulder or leg to incapacitate him & then get him the help he truly needs? Sad!
    My condolences to Mr. Condon’s family & friends.
    https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Troopers-shot-Hamilton-County-man-during-mental-14898772.php

  4. Todd says:

    Justin
    I hope you are never confronted with someone coming after you with a hatchet. Police are not trained or expected to shoot to wound an assailant. They shoot to stop the aggressive behavior. You should avail yourself do a deadly force scenario simulator and see how much time an officer has to make these decisions
    The system probably failed this person not the State Trooper who was put in the awful situation

    • Justin says:

      Todd, I’m respectfully just curious as to what part of my comment makes you assume that I have never experienced a similar incident?

      • JohnL says:

        I’m not Todd, but may I offer an answer to that. Respectfully, if you had ever been in a life threatening situation like that, you would certainly know how incredibly difficult it is to shoot someone ‘in the shoulder or leg to incapacitate him’, particularly in a fast moving situation such as this. Todd is right, we’re trained to shoot center mass as that’s A. the most likely to stop the immediate threat, and 2. the easiest to hit.

        • Justin says:

          Thanks, and understood. As I stated, I’m sure there is a perfectly liable reason there was a need to fire seven shots at someone who attacks you with a hatchet. Obviously we don’t know all the facts, only what has been reported. We can only comment, regardless if we’ve had a similar experience where everyone came out ok or not.

  5. Boreas says:

    Terribly tragic for both victims and their families. The officer is a victim of the system as well as the resident. Police and prisons shouldn’t be the front line of America’s mental health system. Very sad – my condolences.

    But another note – as in this case, Tasers are ineffective in many situations. Most Tasers issued today are ineffective up close because there is not enough probe spread. They are designed to be used 7-9 feet away. Paradoxically, the farther you are from the target, the larger spread of the probes increases the likelihood of a miss from one probe.

    https://www.apmreports.org/story/2019/05/09/when-tasers-fail

    Perhaps the top 2-3 rounds in a magazine should be rubber or other less-lethal bullets?

    • William G Ott says:

      When you are in danger and call a cop to rescue you, do you want him to defend you with rubber bullets?

    • JohnL says:

      Rubber bullets? In a life threatening situation such as this? Seriously???

      • Boreas says:

        What I said was “Perhaps the top 2-3 rounds in a magazine should be rubber or other less-lethal bullets?”. Read carefully. Lower power loads, less lethal slugs, etc., etc.. It was a mental health check, not a gang shoot-out. He used the Taser first – it didn’t work. My point is, if the tools don’t work, we should find better tools.

        • JohnL says:

          I read your post Boreas and I knew that you were only talking about the top 2 or 3 rounds in a magazine. I stand by my incredulity.

  6. Harv Sibley says:

    Mental health…the biggest domestic crisis we face. No simple answer…..

  7. Vanessa says:

    As some folks have pointed out, tasers don’t work for their stated purpose much of the time, and can kill people in their own right.

    I agree 100% that it’s society’s responsibility to figure this out, but the officer simply shouldn’t have been the first responder in this case. I certainly do not think the officer is a victim or somehow magically not responsible for his actions because society has failed to address our mental crises effectively. I personally do not trust the police to ensure my own or my family’s safety in almost any situation, and I would never call them if a loved one was having such a crisis. That will make some people angry, but many, many people feel this way.

    Condolences and sympathy to all involved, while important, are woefully insufficient. Addressing mental health is not something that society is seriously interested in tackling based on all of the empirical work or mental health professionals yet – as and long as we stay in this situation, this type of thing will regularly occur.

    • Harv Sibley says:

      Because we do not fully understand all the details, comments should be tempered. There may have been previous incidents, perhaps mental health professionals thought it was too physically dangerous to respond. We really just do not know. And truth be told, unless we are the ones in the situation, to say what should be done is fine, but often we do not have the full details.

      Nonetheless, this is the #1 issue in our country.
      H

      • Vanessa says:

        Hi Harv, unsure regarding what part of my comment isn’t “tempered.” If you’d like to specify, we can talk it out.

        What you say above is a very common response to this type of situation. You’re not even the first commenter to say it. Unfortunately it’s not really a true statement because in this case, we actually do have all the facts that the officer was legally required to report on, reproduced herein in the article. The fact that he was physically attacked being no small detail, indeed.

        Whether the officer followed training specifications is a very different discussion than whether he’s a “victim,” as a paid employee of the state who has a monopoly on violence in almost any situation he’s in. Responsibility there means a lot of things besides for just, did he do his job correctly per what the state expects in 2019.

        It’s our job as citizens, I would argue, to really evaluate whether the situation itself is a moral one. The police themselves can and should be a part of this discussion, but certainly not by claiming victimhood.

    • joeadirondack@gmail.com says:

      Omg people. He attacked the officer and struck him in the head with an axe.

      • drdirt says:

        You and I would run away and get out of the person’s home .,., why can’t police run away instead of shooting him dead?

        • Boreas says:

          drdirt,

          Because they are trained to neutralize a threat. I assume the officer performed in accordance with the way he was trained. So if we assume police training, methods, and tools are beyond reproach, similar tragedies aren’t likely to decrease. I happen to believe there is room for improvement. I guess that makes me an oddball.

    • JohnL says:

      Vanessa, if you’re ever in a situation where your life, or that of a family member, is threatened, and you don’t trust the police, by all means, don’t call them. That’s your prerogative.

  8. Todd says:

    Justin
    The comment about why not one or two shots to shoulder or leg to incapacitate him makes me think you have not experienced deadly force encounters and are not an authority on police use of force

  9. Charlie S says:

    “Nonetheless, this is the #1 issue in our country.”

    It’s a global problem Harv, and it is a problem that is rising globally. I heard a report recently where they said there’s no clear way of being able to distinguish those individuals who have a mental health problem from those who are otherwise well. Also they are seeing a rise in anxiety and depression which we should expect with populations living longer. Treatment is a problem as there are long waiting lists if even people choose to seek treatment. Stigma is a problem too as many people don’t want to admit they have a problem, or they talk about it in hushed tones, or behind closed doors, or not at all. The stigma is so strong that people who do receive treatment are only the tip of the iceberg……

    How about those five cops who tasered that one man up in Saratoga County a few years ago…and killed him outright. One taser would have done the trick. Five cops! Five tasers! They got away with that! I’d be curious to know how many of our police are ex military, you know …where they are trained to kill.

    • Boreas says:

      Charlie,

      I won’t respond to your second paragraph but certainly agree with your first. Treatment, even when effective, is also often problematic due to the patient’s ability to pay, side effects of treatment that are nearly as bad or worse than the symptoms they are trying to relieve, and an individual’s right to decline treatment. To further complicate things, certain pathologies seem to be of value in our society.

      Depending on law enforcement to intercede in many of these cases should be reconsidered. It would seem that in a modern, enlightened society there should be a more appropriate alternative. Poor mental health isn’t a crime.

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