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Verizon Replacement Worker Charged With Drunkenly Driving Into Picketer, Officer

WESTBORO (CBS) -- Police arrested a Verizon replacement worker who they say drunkenly drove into a picketer and an officer Thursday morning.

George Pulling, 55, of Naples, Florida, was charged with two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, driving under the influence of alcohol, and operating a motor vehicle without a license. Police said it was his fourth DUI offense.

Westboro Police said four officers were on scene around 8:20 a.m. Thursday outside the Extended Stay Hotel on East Main Street, where Verizon workers replacing those who are on strike are being housed. Those officers were escorting the replacement workers through a picket line of about 80 picketers.

Verizon workers began striking a month ago in response to stalled contract negotiations.

verizon strike
Members of IBEW Local 2325 picketed outside the Extended Stay Hotel Thursday morning. (WBZ-TV)

As police were escorting a truck driven by Pulling through the line of yelling and screaming picketers, they said Pulling accelerated into the picketers, catching one of them, Joseph Rooney, 47, of Roslindale, on his truck's hood.

Police said Pulling drove onto the ramp leading to Route 9 with Rooney on his hood and stopped, causing Rooney to fly off and into the road. Rooney was taken to UMass Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

Westboro Police said Pulling also hit one of their officers with his truck mirror, leading to his second assault and battery charge. They said his license was suspended in Florida, which meant it was also suspended here.

Pulling is scheduled to be arraigned in Westboro District Court later Thursday.

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