NYS Police: Trooper Fatally Shot Man Who Hit Officer With Hatchet

Dec 11, 2019

New York State Police are investigating after a trooper in Hamilton County fatally shot a man who struck the officer in the head with a hatchet Tuesday night. 

It happened at Old Piseco Road in the Hamilton County Town of Arietta. Latham Troop G Commander Major Robert Patnaude says Trooper Ryan Mousaw had no choice but to shoot a mentally ill man who struck him with a hatchet.

"... the trooper felt something hit his head, he stepped back and saw the subject with the hatchet." ~ Latham Troop G Commander Major Robert Patnaude

The incident began when 55-year-old Daniel Condon went to the home of an acquaintance and threatened those inside. “He went to the subject’s house. He was rambling about them stealing his money, something to that effect. They were very scared… the complainant had given him a ride earlier in the day and Mr. Condon was irrational during the ride.”

Mousaw caught up with Condon later at his own residence a short distance away. "Our trooper stepped back, pulled out his gun, warned him, asked him, ordered him to drop the hatchet. The subject refused, and he shot the subject and killed him. The incident started, obviously, a half an hour before that. Trooper was called to a residence where people had been threatened by this subject. He had the hatchet with him when he threatened the people. He was obviously under some type of mental illness. Trooper went to the house, got some information and went down to subject's house where he confronted him outside. He told him that he would have to take him into custody and bring him to the hospital. The subject ran into the house. And they got to the house. That's where the struggle ensued. The trooper tried to tase him. The taser did not work. And that's when the trooper felt something hit his head, he stepped back and saw the subject with the hatchet. That's when he pulled his gun and ultimately fired, had to fire at him and kill him."

"It's a very rural area of Hamilton County. It took 15 minutes for anybody to get there at all." ~ Latham Troop G Commander Major Robert Patnaude
Credit WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Condon died at the scene. Patnaude explained the taser was ineffective because Condon was clad in "several layers of clothing."  Mousaw got off seven shots.   "After firing his weapon at the subject and the threat was over he went out to his car and he immediately called for help. It's a very rural area of Hamilton County. It took 15 minutes for anybody to get there at all. The trooper went back in, tried to administer first aid. Hooked up the AED to the subject to try to shock his heart, but there was no shock warranted."

Mousaw was treated at Nathan Littauer Hospital for a head laceration and arm injuries. "The trooper received several stitches in the head from the hatchet hitting him. He's at home right now. We don't expect him back very soon but he's gonna be OK."

Patnaude adds troopers had no previous encounters with Condon, who was known to Hamilton County authorities.