Selectmen in Wrentham File Assault Charges Against Each Other Following Restroom Confrontation

In Massachusetts, two Wrentham selectmen have filed criminal charges against one another for assault. John Zizza and Robert Cohen got into a bathroom argument at a June 3 board meeting. According to Zizza, Cohen suddenly approached him and started uttering swear words, telling Zizza not to touch him and telling him he would be sorry. Zizza says he feared for his safety. Cohen, however, says it was Zizza that acted in an intimidating and hostile fashion and purposely tried to provoke him.

The argument began after Zizza told Cohen that he had checked nominating papers-Cohen’s included-for forged signatures. Both men dispute the other’s account of the confrontation, although they aren’t accusing each other of inflicting physical harm.
The selectmen are scheduled to make an appearance in Wrentham District Court to find out if there is enough evidence to charge either one of them.

Massachusetts law considers verbal abuse to be a crime if someone uses words to threaten another person in a manner that causes the recipient of the threat to fear physical harm. An assault charge may even be filed if someone threatens another person with bodily harm and that person fears for his or her safety.

Under the General Laws of Massachusetts:

Chapter 275: Section 2. Complaint of threat to commit crime
Section 2. If complaint is made to any such court or justice that a person has threatened to commit a crime against the person or property of another, such court or justice shall examine the complainant and any witnesses who may be produced, on oath, reduce the complaint to writing and cause it to be subscribed by the complainant.

Wrentham selectmen file assault charges against each other,, June 24, 2008

Related Web Resource:

Massachusetts General Laws

Wrentham selectmen’s feud hits public, Web, The Sun Chronicle, June 25, 2008
Just because someone has filed a criminal complaint against you does not mean that you will be found guilty. Our Boston, Massachusetts criminal defense attorneys have helped many clients accused of assault and other crimes get the charges against them dropped or reduced. Contact Altman & Altman LLP today.

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