SOMERVILLE – A Somerset County Jail inmate from Elizabeth is charged with three counts of aggravated assault for allegedly attacking corrections officers, Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano and Somerset County Sheriff Frank Provenzano announced Tuesday.
According to Soriano, on Monday, July 9, at approximately 6:51 a.m., Mubarak Muhammad, 19, punched Somerset County Corrections Officer Michael Petritsch in the face with a closed fist. After knocking Petritsch to the floor, Muhammad allegedly continued to strike him about the face before other inmates interceded.
Muhammad then fled to his assigned cell. Corrections Officer Joseph Florek responded to that cell and ordered the defendant to get down on the floor. When Muhammad allegedly refused to comply, Florek approached the defendant in his cell. Once the officer was inside, Muhammad allegedly kicked Florek in his left knee repeatedly.
Additional correction officers responded to the defendant’s cell to assist Officer Florek, Soriano said. Muhammad allegedly continued to ignore all verbal commands as he crawled under his bunk in an attempt to hinder his apprehension. Once he was removed and secured, Muhammad allegedly continued to resist the officers attempting to escort him out of his shared assigned cell. Corrections Officer Michael DeRosa sustained a laceration to his left tricep that required seven stitches.
The Somerville Rescue Squad responded and transported three corrections officers to Somerset Medical Center where they were treated and released.
Muhammad is awaiting trial on charges of eluding, 2nd degree; aggravated assault, 4th degree; receiving stolen property, 3rd degree, and resisting arrest, 4th degree. Judge Robert B. Reed set bail for the new charges at $30,000 cash or bond.
The charges against Muhammad are merely accusations; he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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