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DV Pilot police & fire

Passenger scuffles with New Milford cops

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

It was going to take more than a few cuts on his hand during a scuffle with a combative suspect to keep New Milford Police Officer Kevin Van Saders from returning to work.

Justin Bottigliero (NEW MILFORD PD)

As Van Saders pulled a suspicious vehicle over on Summit Avenue around 1:30 this morning, the passenger got out and began arguing with him, Chief Frank Papapietro told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

Sgt. John O’Malley and Officer John Moroney arrived just as Van Saders noticed an open beer bottle sticking out of the man’s jacket, the chief said.

As Van Saders tried to pat him down, the passenger kept moving around. Asked whether he had any weapons, the man told the officers there was a knife in his backpack, Papapietro said.

They were arresting him when the man suddenly starting fighting with the officers — sending all four of them to the icy ground, he said.

“He continued to resist” until the officers finally subdued him, the chief said.

The female driver consented to a search that turned up a small bag of pot and a switchblade, as well as a blunt, Papapietro said.

The 18-year-old driver wasn’t charged.

However, Justin Bottigliero, 23, of Fulton Street, was taken into custody and charged with:

  • aggravated assault on a police officer
  • resisting arrest
  • weapons possession
  • drug possession
  • having an open alcoholic beverage container in public.


Bottigliero is being held on $25,000 bail at the Bergen County Jail.

Despite cuts on his right hand, Van Saders “has already returned to duty,” the chief said this morning.

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