WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — A tow truck driver pleaded no contest to an assault charge after police said he kicked a RIPTA bus driver during an argument on the streets of Woonsocket.
Officers were called to the intersection of Main and Clinton Streets on May 30 at about 2 p.m. for a report of a fight in the middle of the road between a tow truck driver and a RIPTA driver. The tow truck was in the right lane and the RIPTA bus was stopped in the left lane behind it, and traffic was completely blocked.
Witnesses told police that a car had broken down in the road and the flatbed tow truck had arrived to load and remove it. After the car was loaded but before the truck left, a RIPTA bus stopped behind it in the left lane and the bus driver got out to talk to the tow truck driver about blocking the right turn lane.
Witnesses said the two men started arguing, got within inches of each other, and then tow truck driver, John Brilliant Jr., of Blackstone, kicked the RIPTA driver in the shin and then punched him in the head.
The RIPTA driver said he was trying to take a photo of the tow truck’s DOT number when Brilliant hit him. Police said Brilliant didn’t say much to officers other than the RIPTA driver had confronted him.
Police officers arrested Brilliant and charged him with simple assault and disorderly conduct.
Brilliant pleaded no contest to the assault charge in court on June 6 and received a one-year suspended sentence with a no-contact order with the RIPTA driver. The disorderly conduct charge was dismissed.