RNJ News Department

Plumber charged with assaulting a police officer

HOPATCONG BOROUGH, NJ (Sussex County) – A Hopatcong man who allegedly pushed an officer to the ground Saturday afternoon is facing multiple charges, police said.

At 12:46 p.m., officers were called to a residence on Dartmouth Trail on a report of a dispute between a landlord and the owner of Polite Plumber, police said.

A police investigation revealed that William Hughes, 55, put in a boiler for the landlord but Hughes allegedly did not hook it up to the home. The landlord allegedly paid what was on the contract with his credit card, police said.

When the landlord found out that the boiler was not hooked up to the home, he contacted Hughes. The landlord had another plumber at the house doing other work. He told Hughes that he will just bill him for the other plumber to finish the job. Hughes said he would be right over, police said.

When Hughes arrived, an argument ensued between him and the landlord. Hughes went into the crawl space and took out the blower motor. He put it in the back of his truck because he thought the landlord would stop payment on his credit card, police said.

Sgt. O’Shea attempted to tell Hughes that he had no right to enter the home and take the blower out of the boiler. Hughes would not listen, police said.

Ptl. Cirri advised Hughes to listen to what Sgt. O’Shea was saying and still would not listen. He walked towards his driver’s door and Officer Cirri advised him that he could be arrested and Hughes told the officers to arrest him, police said.

Hughes went to get into his truck and Officer Cirri told him that if you get in, you’ll be arrested. Hughes again told the officers to arrest him as he got into his truck. Officer Bruzzesse grabbed Hughes arm to arrest him and then he spun around on the officers. Hughes was pushed up against his truck and Hughes said “okay” and put his hands behind his back. Once the officers grabbed his hands, he spun around again, police said.

During the struggle Officer Bruzzesse was allegedly pushed to the ground and sustained an abrasion to his arm. Officer Cirri took Hughes to the ground to handcuff him, police said.

Hughes was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, burglary, theft over $500.00, obstruction and resisting arrest.

The blower was given back to the homeowner and on Sunday, Hughes personally apologized to the officers, police said.

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By: Jay Edwards Follow on Twitter | Like on Facebook