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Colchester Officers/Troopers Arrest Colchester Man Accused of Threatening and Bias Crimes

On 11/06/2023 at approximately 2:48 p.m., Troop K dispatch received a report of a disturbance in the area of Harrington Court in Colchester. The reporting party indicated that an involved male party was allegedly holding an ice pick. Prior to the arrival of Colchester Officers, it was reported that the male had left the area in a red vehicle.

Responding Officers met with the complainant, an adult female, who explained to Officers that she had been walking from her nearby residence to a local business when she encountered a male, identified as Joseph Surwill, DOB 08/04/1966, of Colchester, whom the complainant was familiar with. The complainant explained that the parking lot of the business she was walking toward is adjacent to Surwill’s property but that she did not enter onto Surwill’s property. According to the complainant, as she was walking toward the business, Surwill allegedly exited his residence and picked up an axe. The complainant alleged that Surwill then held the axe in a horizontal manner with both of his hands and pushed the axe handle against the complainant’s body, using it to physically push her backwards. The complainant went on to allege that as Surwill was pushing her backwards, Surwill was yelling at her to get off of his property using profanity and a racial slur. The complainant reported that she did not sustain injuries during the incident, but that Surwill's actions had caused her to fear for her safety.

During the on-scene investigation, Officers spoke with a witness who provided an account of the incident consistent with that of the complainant. Additionally, an axe was located at the scene and subsequently seized as evidence.

A short time later, a Trooper assigned to Troop K located Surwill at a business on Old Hartford Road, in Colchester. Based upon information obtained during this investigation, Surwill was taken into custody and transported to Troop K, where he was charged with the following:

C.G.S. 53a-181k(a(3, Intimidation Based on Bigotry or Bias

C.G.S. 53a-181, Breach of Peace in the 2nd Degree

C.G.S. 53a-61aa, Threatening in the 1st Degree

C.G.S. 53a-167, Interfering with an Officer / Resisting

C.G.S. 29-17, Failure to Comply with Fingerprinting Requirements

The CSP Hate Crimes Unit was notified of this incident.

Surwill was uncooperative during arrest processing and while in custody, Surwill verbally threatened to bomb Troop K and kill Troopers upon his release.

Surwill was held on a $100,000 cash/surety bond and transferred to the custody of the CT Department of Corrections pending his scheduled arraignment at Norwich Superior Court, on 11/07/2023.


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