BOGOTA, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The mayor of Bogota, New Jersey, went to vote on Tuesday and got punched in the head.
As WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported, the alleged assailant was the elderly father of a political rival.
Bogota Mayor Antero “Tito” Jackson said he stepped out of the polling place Tuesday and saw Salvatore Trotta.
“(He was) waiting for me,” Jackson said. “I’ve never met this person before in my life.”
Trotta is the father of Tina Trotta, who is running against Jackson’s slate of local candidates, and is also suing the Borough of Bogota over a parking lot that required the removal of numerous trees near Oscar E. Olsen Park, according to the website PolitickerNJ.
Salvatore Trotta told the website PolitickerNJ that the mayor spoke to him and called his daughter “nothing but a money-hungry piece of s**t.” He also claimed to the publication that Jackson shoved him first.
But Jackson told Silverman the claim is not true.
“You know, I did not provoke this in any way,” he said. “I went. I voted. I was leaving.”
A witness said he heard the commotion after the incident.
“We heard, ‘Help, help, help,’” said Robert Ferrell.
Ferrell said he ran out to see Salvatore Trotta, 80, slug the mayor in the side if the head.
“I said: ‘Break it up. Break it up. Break it up. What the hell are you guys doing?’”
But Ferrell said Salvatore Trotta then turned to him, “and said: ‘You saw me hit him? Suppose I hit you.’”
Salvatore Trotta did not hit Ferrell. The mayor said he wants Salvatore Trotta, whom WCBS 880 could not reach for comment, charged with assault.
“It’s given our town a black eye — no pun intended,” Jackson said.
Jackson, a Democrat, was appointed acting mayor last fall after the resignation of two-term Bogota Mayor Patrick McHale, according to published reports. He plans to run for reelection in November, reports said.
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