Replacement Verizon worker charged with running over striker, hitting officer

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People demonstrate outside a Verizon wireless store during in New York last month. 

Credit: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Yesterday we noted the light sentence given a Westborough, Mass., man who entombed a Verizon worker in an underground utility shed in 2013. Today comes news that another Verizon worker picketing in that same small town was struck by a pickup truck operated by a replacement worker who police say was driving on a suspended Florida license … allegedly while intoxicated … at just past 8 o’clock Thursday morning.

From an entry on the Westborough Police Department’s Facebook page:

On May 12th, at approximately 8:20 AM, the Westborough Police Department was assisting with a labor dispute involving striking Verizon workers and replacement workers. Four Officers were assisting the replacement workers as they drove through a picket line consisting of approximately 80 picketers.

A pickup truck being operated by George A. Pulling, age 55, of Naples Fla., was being escorted through the line. The picketers were yelling and screaming at the driver as he was moving along. Pulling accelerated while in the middle of the picketers and ended up with one of the picketers, Joseph Rooney, age 47, on the hood of the truck. He continued onto the ramp leading onto Rte. 9 west where he finally stopped causing Rooney to be tossed onto the road.

Rooney was treated for injuries described as non-life threatening.

Pulling was arrested for assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon (vehicle) 2 counts, one on Rooney and one on Officer LeeAnne Baker who was struck by the mirror on the vehicle, DUI alcohol 4th offense and operating a motor vehicle without a license. His license in Florida was suspended therefore his right to operate in Massachusetts is suspended.

Reports of alleged vandalism to Verizon equipment continue to mount.

And industry experts are warning Verizon’s business customers that they should be on the alert for negative impacts on their accounts and services, as Verizon employees normally attendant to those accounts and services are now busy replacing the strikers.

The strike, which began on April 13, will enter its second month tomorrow without any hint of an impending settlement.

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