In an interview in Stamford police headquarters on Tuesday, Officer Chiafari, 53, a husband and a father of three, described that day and the crippling depression and anxiety that followed. He was haunted not just by the frightening encounter with the bloody and enraged chimp who outweighed him by 50 pounds, but also by images of the victim in the driveway. "I’d go to the mall and see women and imagine them without faces," he said.
Officer Chiafari required therapy but was denied a worker’s compensation claim. The reason was that harrowing episodes involving a person — shooting a suspect, for example — would be covered but similar encounters with animals were not.