On the night of July 4, Acushnet Police responded to Nye’s Lane for reports of fireworks being set off, and an officer reportedly got more than he bargained for.

Police say shortly before midnight the first responding officer was wrapping up his investigation and speaking with a homeowner when a male guest at the residence launched an attack. A 35-year-old man who appeared intoxicated screamed and yelled as he approached the officer in a threatening manner, according to a press release from the Acushnet Police Department. The suspect was initially held back by family members but he allegedly broke loose and charged at the officer.

A struggle ensued where the two men fell to the floor. The suspect allegedly struck the officer with a closed fist in the face and head at least four times and tried to grab the officer's holstered firearm, police said.

The officer managed to radio for assistance before his microphone came detached in the struggle, police said. The officer reportedly regained control over the suspect and kept him pinned for two to three minutes until a backup officer arrived. The man continued to violently resist before officers handcuffed him, and then began spitting at officers, according to police.

Arrested was Robert D. Nobrega of 80 Blueberry Terrance, New Bedford. Nobrega is charged with assault and battery on a police officer, disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, and assault with a dangerous weapon – to wit, spit. In addition to spitting at police, Nobrega allegedly spat in the cruiser as well as in the booking area at the Acushnet Police Department.

Nobrega was transported to the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office Regional Lockup on Ash Street in New Bedford pending bail. He was due to be arraigned today.

The injured officer was evaluated by paramedics from the Acushnet Fire & Rescue Department but declined transport to the hospital and remained on duty. A 24-hour biohazard cleanup company had to be contacted to respond to clean and decontaminate the affected areas, Acushnet Police Chief Christoper R. Richmond said.

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