Suspect Who Attacked Cop With Hammer Has Extensive Criminal Record: REPORT

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Lillian Tweten Contributor
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Winston Tate, the 52-year-old man who attacked Officer Karli Travis with a hammer on Aug. 12 in Connecticut, had at least 30 priors and 14 convictions since 2017, Fox News reported.

Tate approached Travis with a claw hammer, ignored her warnings to drop the weapon, struck her at least three times with the hammer and did not stop attacking her until a bystander distracted him, according to Middletown Press. Tate had received sentences twice before — once in 2020 and another time in 2018 — for assaulting an officer, but received little jail time for the attacks, Fox News reported based on court records. (RELATED: Horrifying Bodycam Footage Shows Hammer-Wielding Suspect Beat Officer Before She Shoots Him)

“A guy like this, who has 30 prior arrests, [who] has attacked officers, he should never have been out again,” Nick Puorro, president of the local Middletown police union, told Fox. “He has proven that he is not a functioning member of society, and he deserves to be locked up in a cage like the animal he is.”

Despite his many prior arrests and charges, Tate has only served a little under three years in jail total since 2003, according to Fox News. Tate has a criminal record that goes back to 1996 and has been sentenced to 25 years in prison, but received suspensions for nearly every sentence, according to the New Haven Register.

Tate only served a few months of a three-year prison sentence he received in March 2023 for robbing a Walgreens, shoving the manager and stealing $300 worth of over-the-counter medicine, before he was released early, according to Fox News.

“[I]f you’re violently attacking people, I think incarceration is the only cure until we’re sure of [the public’s safety],” Erik Costa, the Middletown police chief, told Fox News. “Judges need to be given the authority to put people in jail long enough to get the resources they need. Judges are forced to get people out of jail as soon as possible.”

Tate was charged on Aug. 19 with attempting to commit first-degree assault, assault of a public safety officer, interfering with police and second-degree assault.

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