Naugatuck detective honored by Waterbury association

Britney Amankwah, Staff Reporter

On October 24, 2019, Naugatuck Detective Andre Moutela will be awarded the Good Neighbor Award at The Waterbury Neighborhood Council’s annual award dinner. 

On August 7, 2019, a young man climbed up on top of a fence that was on a bridge over I-84. The young man was distraught and meant to hurt himself. Drivers on the highway noticed the young man and called 911. 

Waterbury Police Officers responded and tried to talk him down. The officers discovered that he could not speak English. The young man only spoke Portuguese. 

The Waterbury Police Force does not have an officer who is fluent in Portuguese, so they contacted the Naugatuck Police Department for assistance. Detective Moutela responded and started speaking to the young man in Portuguese. 

“I attempted to get the individual to engage in a conversation with me but he would not. I was telling this individual that this isn’t the right solution to whatever is going on in his life and that we could help him get the help that he needs. I attempted to get this individual to think beyond his current struggle and think of his future,” said Detective Moutela. 

“When I first arrived on the scene, I was so focused on helping the individual that I really did not have the time to think about my own feelings.” 

“A plan was developed to offer the young man a bottle of water and when he reached down for it, then the other officers would grab him and pull him to safety,” said Chief Hunt of the Naugatuck Police Department. 

Detective Moutela successfully handed the young man the water and when he reached for it, officers from the Waterbury Police Department pulled him down to safety. 

The young man was taken to a local hospital to speak with professionals about his suicidal thoughts and attempt.  

The Good Neighbor Award is awarded to people who have contributed to the well-being of a community. 

According to, at the annual award dinner, some other people will be given the Good Neighbor Award. For example, Vincent Caggiano for helping to provide meals for the youth and families in the Hopeville Neighborhood. 

The Ungroup Society is also being awarded for their continued clothing drives and their support for the Arlington Heights Neighborhood and city of Waterbury.

Detective Moutela will be joining the other awardees in being honored at The Waterbury Neighborhood Council’s annual award dinner.

“Detective Moutela has been an officer for 10 years. He did a great job that day and helped save that young man’s life. Detective Moutela is one of our best officers. He is an asset to our department, “ said Chief Hunt. 

Detective Moutela is looking forward to receiving the award.

“I am truly honored and humbled about receiving this award and although Officer McAvoy and I are receiving this award, the outstanding effort and teamwork from all first responders, to include every individual on scene from the law enforcement officers from several different agencies, the personnel from the fire department, EMS, and the mental health professionals should be recognized. The joint effect and teamwork from all these different individuals resulted in this situation ending in a great outcome,” said Detective Moutela. 

“I would not do anything differently given the chance. The collaboration between everyone on the scene was excellent and without them all, I don’t know if the situation would have ended the same.“ 

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people ages ten to 34. 

“Suicide claims the lives of over 47,000 people,” stated the National Institute of Mental Health. 

On that day, Detective Moutela, the Naugatuck Police Department, and the Waterbury Police Department helped reduce the number of suicides this year. While there will still be more, but at least one more person is still alive.