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Man indicted for attempted murder in attack on North Royalton police officer

NORTH ROYALTON, Ohio– A 57-year-old North Royalton man is facing several charges following an attack on a police officer.

The North Royalton officer was investigating a report of a man driving erratically and threatening another driver on Aug. 18. She went to a house near Lynn Drive and York Road to question John Pugnea.

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office said Pugnea pushed the officer to the ground, punched her in the face and threatened to kill her. According to the police report, he also attempted to gouge her eyes.

Police said Pugnea’s wife tried to protect the officer and begged him to stop his assault.

“The only thing, ma’am, that is saving your life is my wife,” Pugnea told the officer, according to the police report.

The officer was able to escape by using her pepper spray and another officer arrived to arrest the suspect. The victim was taken to a hospital for treatment.

“Pugnea viciously assaulted a police officer who was simply trying to do her job,” said county prosecutor Michael O’Malley, in a news release on Monday. “He will be held accountable for this violent, inexcusable attack.”

Punea was indicted on one count of attempted murder, one count of felonious assault, one count of assault and three counts of aggravated menacing. He is schedule to appear in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court on Thursday for his arraignment.

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