Verizon Union Workers Want Replacement Workers Pulled Off Job

Police say the suspect accelerated and struck 47-year-old Joseph Rooney with his pickup truck

Verizon union leaders will be calling for replacement workers to be pulled off the job after a protesting worker was hospitalized after police say a drunk replacement worker ran him down on a picket line in Westborough, Massachusetts.

Fifty-five-year-old George Pulling pleaded not guilty Thursday in Westborough District Court to two counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, driving under the influence of alcohol and operating without a license.

The incident happened around 8:20 a.m. when officers were assisting replacement workers in driving through a picket line of about 80 protesters.

Police say the Ohio man accelerated and struck 47-year-old Joseph Rooney with his pickup truck. Pulling allegedly continued driving with Rooney on his hood before stopping on an on-ramp to state Route 9 West, tossing the Roslindale man.

Officials originally said Pulling was from Florida.

Rooney was taken to UMass Memorial Center-University Campus for treatment.

Verizon workers in several states have been striking since contract talks broke down in mid-April. They have been without a contract since Aug. 1, 2015.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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