Mass. State Police Trooper assaulted by suspected drunk driver

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NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — A New Bedford man is now facing several charges after allegedly assaulting a State Trooper while intoxicated.

The incident happened around 1 a.m. on Acushnet Ave. when State Trooper Joshua Pacheco saw a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction towards his cruiser. 

Investigators say the suspects vehicle had crossed the center line on the road, just missing the cruiser as it passed by. 

Trooper Pacheco then followed the vehicle and was able to catch up to the operator, later identified as 37-year-old Diego Tiniguar Panjoj of New Bedford, as he pulled into a driveway on Ashley Blvd.

As Trooper Pacheco approached the vehicle, he saw Panjoj making suspicious movements in the car and also did not show his hands when asked to. He also noticed Panjoj may be intoxicated.

While Trooper Pacheco was trying to talk with the suspect, he abruptly exited the vehicle and lunged at the trooper. After what officials are calling a “significant struggle with this resistant and combative” suspect, Panjoj was taken into custody. 

Panjoj was taken to Saint Luke’s Hospital and treated for minor injuries He was then taken to the State Police Barracks in Dartmouth and booked on the following charges.

– OUI Liquor

– Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle

– Possession of an Open Container of Alcohol in a Motor Vehicle

– Assault and Battery on a Police Officer

– Resisting Arrest

– Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle

– Marked Lanes Violation

Panjoj was held without bail, due to having an outstanding warrant in New Bedford. He is expected to appear in court on Monday morning.

Trooper Pacheco was not injured during the incident.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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