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Man who allegedly beat, tried to kill North Royalton police officer pleads not guilty

Posted: 8:28 AM, Sep 12, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-12 09:38:11-04
John Pugnea mug shot.jpg

NORTH ROYALTON, Ohio — The man accused of beating a North Royalton police officer last month was arraigned Thursday morning on multiple charges including attempted murder.

John Pugnea, 57, was indicted this week on charges of attempted murder, felonious assault, assault and three counts of aggravated menacing, according to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is scheduled to appear in court for a pretrial hearing on Sept. 17.

The alleged attack happened on Aug. 18 in the area of Lynn Drive and York Road in North Royalton. According to authorities, the officer responded after someone reported that a man was driving erratically and had made threats against another driver.

When the officer arrived on scene, she questioned Pugnea about what happened. Authorities say that Pugnea “refused multiple commands and began fighting with the officer.”

Pugnea attacked the officer by pushing her to the ground and punching her in the face repeatedly, according to authorities. Pugnea was arrested by another responding officer.

The officer was treated at a nearby hospital for her injuries.