Middletown, CT – A state psychiatric review board completely ignored the emotional plea of a former Hartford police officer who begged them not to transfer her would-be killer into a less-secure psychiatric facility.
The incident occurred on May 17, 2018, when Hartford police officers responded to a call about a dispute between and landlord and tenant at an apartment complex, WTIC reported.
Police said that Chevoughn Augustin had torn down bulletins from the walls of the building prompting the 911 call.
Then-Hartford Police Officer Jill Kidik knocked on Augustin’s door and had a conversation with the woman, but sensed that something was amiss with the woman’s mental state and called for an ambulance, CT Insider reported.
That was when Augustin, a woman with a documented history of schizophrenia and mental health episodes, grabbed Officer Kidik by the hair and dragged her into the apartment.
She attacked the officer with a butcher knife she fished from her kitchen drawer.
Police said Augustin stabbed Officer Kidik multiple times in the neck and caused permanent damage to the officer’s throat, WFSB reported.
She was acquitted of stabbing the officer in August of 2021 by reason of insanity but was committed to 38 years in Whiting Forensic Hospital, a maximum-security psychiatric facility, WTIC reported.
But on Jan. 5, Augustin was transferred to the less-secure Dutcher unit within the Whiting hospital complex, CT Insider reported.
While Augustin should have been safely locked away in a maximum security facility for most of her life, a new Connecticut law that went into effect in October of 2022 allows acquitted people to be transferred to at the discretion of the facility’s superintendent and risk management review committee, according to Vanessa Cardella, the psychiatric review board’s executive director.
Cardella said the board received noticed in late December that the hospital intended to transfer Augustin and scheduled a public hearing on the transfer, CT Insider reported.
In the new facility, Augustin can participate in staff-supervised group outings outside the hospital and in the community and have alone time on the hospital campus.
In January, the now-former Hartford police officer appeared before Connecticut Psychiatric Security Review Board and pleaded with the panel not to release the woman who tried to kill her into a less-secure psychiatric environment.
Detective Kidik – she was promoted after she survived the attack – was a 13-year veteran of the police force when complications from injuries during the attack forced her medical retirement in 2019, WTIC reported.
“There are two other men who saw her lunge an eight-inch butcher knife through my trachea,” the former officer told the review board. “So to hear my injuries listed as a ‘laceration’ to my neck, my throat doesn’t work, I can’t swallow water without choking, I can’t eat a hamburger, I can’t cry because everything seizes up.”
“I got stabbed in the back of my neck as I was trying to run away from her and she found a cooking pot and knocked me unconscious after she hunted for that knife,” Kidik continued.
“This was not a crime of opportunity, she held me by my hair and dragged me across the floor to find that knife,” the brave hero explained.
“I can still remember every spoon being taken out, ever spatula until she had the knife, was so satisfied in that moment,” she recalled.
“I still chose not to pull my gun, I showed no threat to her, I had every intent on helping her that day and getting her eviction thrown out because I could tell she needed someone and I was that someone stupidly enough,” Kidik told the psychiatric review panel.
But despite Kidik’s appearance and emotional testimony at the hearing, the state review panel voted 5-to-0 on Jan. 27 to uphold the hospital’s decision to transfer Augustin out of maximum security, CT Insider reported.