Congressional hopeful facing breach of peace charges plans excessive force complaint

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A congressional candidate from Westport says he plans to file an excessive force complaint against the town's police department following his arrest earlier this month.

T.J. Elgin made his first appearance in court Monday on charges of breach of peace and interfering with an officer. Elgin was arrested at his home on Robert Lane in the overnight hours of Dec. 21.

Police say a neighbor woke up to a man yelling and kicking at the door and called 911 fearing a burglary or some kind of fight. Elgin says it was a misunderstanding.

"It was late at night. I was trying to get my grandmother to open the door because I couldn't find my keys, and my grandmother's older. She had the TV blaring, she was sleeping, so you have to make a reasonable amount of noise to get her up. She opened the door, everything was fine," says Elgin.

But Elgin, who plans to challenge Rep. Jim Himes for his seat next year, says things quickly were not fine when police knocked at his door.

"I open the door and the next thing I know I'm on the ground," says Elgin.

Police say Elgin's recollection of that night doesn't match theirs. They say a man with an injury on his face opened the door and refused to cooperate with officers, leading to him being restrained while they investigated. They later determined Elgin lived there, but took him into custody based on their interactions with him.

Elgin did not enter a plea in court Monday. Instead, a judge continued the case until next month, when Elgin will return with an attorney.

Police say they have not received an excessive force complaint. They also say Elgin's case was reviewed internally, as are all use-of-force cases, and officials found no violation of policy.


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