Teen injured in New Britain police shooting denied in bid to return to school

Published on Tuesday, 12 March 2019 21:12
Written by Charles Paullin


MIDDLETOWN - One of the three people in the car when Zoe Dowdell was shot to death by New Britain police officers, wants to resume his high school education.

Caleb Tisdol, 15 at the time, was with two other men in December 2017 when police spotted the vehicle they were in on a New Britain street. Police identified the trio as possible suspects in a string of violent robberies.

In an attempt to stop the car, officers opened fire on it wounding Tisdol and Noah Young, 19, and killing Dowdell who was 20.

After an investigation by the Fairfield State’s Attorney, the police-involved shooting was ruled “justified,” although an internal investigation by New Britain police found flaws in police procedures.

Tisdol, 16, of Windsor Locks, appeared in Middlesex Superior Court Tuesday asking to attend school and receive mental health treatment.

He has been on home confinement and must wear an ankle bracelet after bonding out of custody, his public defender, James McKay, said in court. Tisdol posted $205,000 in bail last month. The bonds were signed off on Feb. 15. Tisdol has been compliant with his monitoring, a court clerk said.

In response to Tisdol’s requests Judge Maureen Keegan said, “I don’t deal in uncertainties,” refusing to make any adjustments to Tisdol’s release.

Tisdol has five cases against him, involving first-degree robbery with a deadly weapon and other charges from police in Windsor, North Haven, New Britain, Wethersfield and East Hartford. The sixth case against him resulted from the police shooting. New Britain police charged him with carrying a pistol without a permit, illegal possession of a weapon in a motor vehicle and possession with intent to sell/dispense narcotics.

No concrete plans on how Tisdol would attend school and seek mental health treatment were presented by Tisdol and his lawyer, in court.

The judge said the town Tisdol lives in has an obligation to educate him and he should explore avenues with them.

Tisdol’s lawyer said he would follow up with plans, perhaps involving some form of alternative school, or a tutor. Tisdol’s lawyer also said he was encouraging Tisdol’s mother to find other services for her son.

The state prosecutor told the judge that in addition to the charges Tisdol is currently facing he was also involved in robbing a classmate at school.

McKay told The Herald after court that Tisdol denies all the allegations against him. He declined to comment on his cases further.

“His education is very important,” Dondi Tisdol, Caleb’s mother, told The Herald after the court appearance.

She was in attendance with over a dozen other people who she said were teachers, therapists and tutors, all of whom attended Tisdol’s hearing in support of her son.

Caleb Tisdol’s next appearance is set for April 30 in Middlesex Superior Court.

Noah Young, 19, is due in court on April 26. He remains in custody on $400,000 bond.

Dowdell’s family has filed a $6.5 million wrongful death lawsuit against the city of New Britain.

Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or cpaullin@centralctcommunications.com.

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Tuesday, 12 March 2019 21:12. Updated: Wednesday, 13 March 2019 10:07.