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Suspect Under Watch at Hospital after Officers Attacked with Axe


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – A Springfield man is under police guard at Baystate Medical Center after he was shot by police as he tried to attack officers with an axe.

Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney says that around 10:00 p.m. Monday, officers were called to 74 Irvington Street.

While they were en route to the home, police learned that someone there was attempting suicide.

Delaney adds that when officers arrived, “their path inside the dwelling was blocked by a subject who was visibly upset and nervous” and they could hear a woman yelling from inside indicating that someone else inside the house was threatening to kill her.

As officers made their way into the home, Delaney notes that they could hear a man, identified as 28-year-old Nicholas Montel, allegedly threatening to kill a woman.

Montel could be seen allegedly swinging an axe and coming toward officers. One of the officers was able to grab Montel’s arm in an attempt to stop the attack.

Delaney says that Montel then grabbed the throat of one of the officers and started to choke them, at which point Montel then allegedly swung the axe again, but that attempt was stopped by another officer.

The officer was able to break free of Montel’s grasp, but was pushed down to the ground.

Montel then came at the officer again with the axe, when two officers discharged their service weapons “to stop the axe attack on the officer and save him from serious injury,” Delaney explains.

Montel continued to struggle with officers for a few more moments, while still holding on to the axe, but he was able to be subdued, at which time first aid measures began and an ambulance was called.

While first aid was being rendered to Montel, Delaney says that a woman in the house, identified as 25-year-old Erica Cartagena, jumped onto the officers and “hindered them from performing their duties.”

Cartagena was restrained and placed under arrest, charged with being a disorderly person.

Montel is currently under arrest and police guard at Baystate Medical Center, and is listed in serious but stable condition. He is charged with three counts of assault with intent to murder and two counts of assault and battery on a police officer.

Delaney says that one of the officers at the scene suffered a small cut from the axe, and others were injured by the fight. None of the officers, though, needed hospitalization.

As is procedure with any officer-involved shooting, Hampden County District Attorney Mark Mastroianni was notified of the incident.

Members of the Springfield Police Detective Bureau, as well as the Mass. State Police, are investigating the incident.

Delaney adds that all three officers involved in Monday’s incident have been place on desk duty until the investigation is complete.

Nicholas Montel

Nicholas Montel

Erica Cartagena

Erica Cartagena

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