Fairfield man arrested for threatening to harm students


Joseph Russo

A Fairfield resident allegedly called police because he was having thoughts to harm students in one of the elementary schools nearly a month ago, police said. Based on an investigation, a warrant was put out for his arrest, and he is set to appear in court tomorrow, Nov. 26.

According to reports, Fairfield police responded to a call for assistance at 80 Post Road  Oct. 27, at 11:39 p.m.

Upon arrival, officers located Joseph Russo, 44, of 136 Longview Ave. He was cooperative, however, appeared to be distraught and provided disturbing details of his intent to harm students at one of the elementary schools. Russo detailed he had thought this for years.

Russo notified the police of his intent that one day he was going to carry out his actions. Russo wanted immediate help regarding his troubling thoughts so he would not act on his current belief of hurting school children.

Based on the officer’s findings and interview they determined Russo posed a significant and potential danger to others, and under the of authority of C.G.S. 17a-503, an emergency examination request form was completed and Russo was transported by ambulance to St. Vincent’s Medical Center for evaluation.

The Fairfield police notified and worked with the Fairfield School District to notify personnel of the threat and that the person currently was being evaluated.

Russo remained safely in the protective custody of the medical center for the duration of this investigation and posed no direct threat to the public.

Based on the officer’s initial interview of Russo, as well as follow up investigation, it was determined that Russo had previously made similar threats to others that he wanted to take students hostage to traumatize them. It was determined that sufficient probable cause existed to believe that Russo committed the crimes of threatening first degree and threatening an act of terrorism.

An arrest warrant was signed for his arrest on Nov. 22. Russo was released from a medical facility and taken into custody on Nov. 26, at 11 a.m. The Fairfield police served the warrant and processed Russo for the charges listed above.

Russo is being held on $75,000 court set bond and was scheduled to appear in court Nov. 26.

During this investigation, the Fairfield police have maintained an open dialogue with the Fairfield School System. This dialogue will continue during the judicial process.

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