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Man pleads guilty to assaulting North Royalton police officer

Posted at 1:25 PM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-10 13:25:31-04

NORTH ROYALTON, Ohio — The man who viciously assaulted a North Royalton police officer in August 2019 pleaded guilty to multiple charges Tuesday, according to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.

On Aug. 18, 2019, officer Alexandra Bell, then 28, responded to the area of Lynn Drive and York Road after someone reported that a man was driving erratically and had made threats against another driver.

When Bell arrived on scene, she questioned John Pugnea, 58, about what occurred. That's when authorities say that Pugnea “refused multiple commands and began fighting with the officer.”

Pugnea pushed the officer to the ground and punched her in the face multiple times while yelling he was going to kill her, authorities said.

The officer was eventually able to free herself and another officer who responded to the scene took Pugnea into custody. Bell was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.

On Tuesday, Pugnea pleaded guilty to felonious assault on a peace officer and three counts of aggravated menacing. He will be sentenced Monday, April 6.

Pugnea faces up 16 and a half years in prison.

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