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Drunk driver allegedly hits Verizon picketer with truck

People demonstrated outside a Verizon wireless store during a strike in New York last month.REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

A protesting Verizon worker was thrown from the hood of a drunk driver’s truck after being struck on a picket line Thursday morning in Westborough, police said.

The incident began as police were escorting drivers through an area where 80 striking Verizon workers had gathered to demonstrate against replacement employees who were staying at a hotel on E. Main Street in Westborough.

At about 8:20 a.m., George Pulling, 55, of Naples, Fla., allegedly accelerated, hitting a protester. Police did not specify whether Pulling was one of the replacement workers.

Joseph Rooney, 47, of Roslindale, ended up on the hood of Pulling’s pickup truck, police said. Pulling allegedly continued driving toward the Boston-Worcester Turnpike, then stopped on the on-ramp, police said, causing Rooney to be tossed onto the road. He was taken to the hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.


Pulling was arrested and faces two counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, driving under the influence of alcohol (fourth offense), and operating a motor vehicle without a license, police said.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges at his arraignment Thursday in Westborough District Court and was ordered held on $50,000 bail, according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early’s office.

Pulling is scheduled to return to court on June 2.

Globe correspondent Mina Corpuz contributed to this report. J.D. Capelouto can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jdcapelouto.