NEW BEDFORD - A State Trooper was assaulted by a man while conducting a motor vehicle stop in New Bedford in the early hours of Saturday morning.

According to a release from the official media blog of the Massachusetts State Police, Trooper Joshua Pacheco was on patrol on Acushnet Avenue in New Bedford at about 1:20 a.m. when he observed a 1997 Dodge Neon traveling in the opposite direction towards his cruiser. The Neon had traveled over the center lane markings and narrowly missed striking the cruiser as it passed by. The vehicle then sped down the street. Trooper Pacheco was able to catch up to the vehicle on Ashley Boulevard, where the operator had pulled into a residential driveway.

Trooper Pacheco observed the operator making suspicious movements inside the vehicle. Additionally, the operator declined to show his hands upon command. Upon approaching the vehicle and making contact with the operator, the trooper made observations which indicated the man might be intoxicated.

While Trooper Pacheco was attempting to communicate with the operator, the man abruptly exited his vehicle and lunged at the trooper. Trooper Pacheco was able to fend off this initial assault and proceeded to attempt to place the man in custody. After a significant struggle with this resistant and combative man, the trooper was eventually able to place him in custody.

The operator, 37-year-old Diego Tiniguar Panjoj, of New Bedford, was transported to Saint Luke's Hospital for treatment of minor injuries sustained in the melee. The trooper was uninjured.

Following his treatment at the hospital, Panjoj was then transported to the State Police Barracks in Dartmouth and booked on the following charges:

  1. OUI Liquor
  2. Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle
  3. Possession of an Open Container of Alcohol in a Motor Vehicle
  4. Assault and Battery on a Police Officer
  5. Resisting Arrest
  6. Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle
  7. Marked Lanes Violation

Panjoj also had an outstanding warrant out of New Bedford District Court for resisting arrest, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and failure to stop for police. Due to the warrant, Panjoj was held without bail pending his arraignment in New Bedford District Court on Monday.

-- Massachusetts State Police --