A Naples, Florida, man was arrested for an alleged fourth drunk driving offense Thursday morning, after police said he hit an officer and a picketing Verizon worker with his pickup truck while leaving a Westborough hotel.
George Pulling, 55, was arrested at the scene, police said.
Officers were dispatched to the Extended Stay Hotel on East Main Street just after 8 a.m., where about 80 striking Verizon employees formed a picket line that blocked replacement workers leaving the hotel, according to a statement from the department.
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Pulling was escorted through the line by police as picketers “were yelling and screaming at the driver,” the statement reads. Police said Pulling accelerated while in the middle of protesters, throwing Joseph Rooney, 47, of Roslindale, onto the truck’s hood.
Pulling allegedly continued onto the ramp leading onto Route 9 West, when he stopped driving and forced Rooney to be thrown onto the road. A police officer at the scene was also clipped by a side mirror, according to the report.
“He just floored it,” Police Chief Alan Gordon said of Pulling’s driving, to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. “He hit one of the officers with his mirror and one of the picketers held onto the windshield wiper. Then he jammed on his brakes, sending the picketer off the hood.”
Rooney was transported to U-Mass Medical Hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.
Officers said they discovered Pulling’s license was suspended in Florida while investigating the incident. He now faces two counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, DUI alcohol 4th offense and operating a motor vehicle without a license.
Pulling reportedly told a judge in court later that day that he was "very, very sorry."