Updated Feb. 10, 2015: to include information from the Maplewood Police Incident Report.
Updated Feb. 5, 2015, 12:21 p.m. to include comments from a Maplewood man who came to the aid of the woman in the incident and who said that he fully corroborates her version of events.
Updated Feb. 4, 2015, 10:15 a.m. to add information about additional witnesses and outreach.
Updated Feb. 3, 2015, 8:07 p.m., to add comments from the woman who was arrested.
An adult male and an adult female, both Maplewood residents, were placed under arrest for simple assault and disorderly conduct outside of Maplewood Middle School around dismissal time today.
According to Maplewood Police Chief Robert Cimino, the arrests were “related to a physical altercation that erupted between the two due to a dispute over parking.”
Contrary to rumor, Cimino said that no juvenile was involved in breaking up the altercation nor did any juvenile suffer any injury during the incident.
“The two adults were processed, served with their complaints and released on their own recognizance,” said Cimino. “The male was also cited for improper parking.”
The woman involved in the altercation contacted The Village Green on Tuesday evening to report her side of the story. She asked that her name not be used.
“He was blocking all traffic,” wrote the woman. “I needed to pick up my son. I got out of my car and directed traffic.” When she found “the culprit 2 or 3 cars ahead,” she “walked up to his car, smacked his back window and assertively told him to move. He opened his door, cursed me out and charged at me. I tried to close his door, he pushed it open, punched me in the face, busted my glasses, punched my face.”
The woman reports that the man kept kept punching until “two dads got out of their cars and got the guy off me and held him to the ground.”
“I need to find who were those guys who saved me,” wrote the woman.
One of those men has been identified through students and parents at Maplewood Middle School. When approached by The Village Green for comment, he asked that we not use his name, but said, “I do agree with her side of the story and I’m also glad the police [were] right there and responded so fast.” The man said that he saw the entire incident from start to finish. He said that he would be contacting the woman to aid in her legal defense.
A number of middle school students who were at the scene corroborated the woman’s story that the man was punching her and that two men came to her aid.
The Maplewood Police Incident Report, obtained through an Open Public Records Request, cites two witnesses who said that the woman first attacked the man, whose age is reported as 71. They do not describe in detail what that attack was. The report also says that a third witness said it “was the opposite” and that the man first attacked the woman. In the report, the officer on scene reports that the woman “was observed to have several cuts to her face and a bruise mark near her left eye.” The officer also reported that he found the man restrained on the ground by two men when he approached the scene.
The Village Green is working to reach the other person arrested. A spokeswoman for the South Orange-Maplewood School District said that the district has no statement on the incident.
The Village Green can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.