Man charges N.J. mayor with choking him

Jan. 2, 2013 at 3:17 PM
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NORTH BERGEN, N.J., Jan. 2 (UPI) -- A man who has charged the mayor of Union City, N.J., with assaulting him at a holiday party says lawyers told him the case is a "political can of worms."

Ray Mitchell told The Jersey Journal Monday he was unable to find a lawyer to represent him in his case against Brian Stack, a Democrat, who is also in the state Senate.

"I went to 10 different lawyers who all told me this will open a political can of worms," Mitchell said. "I don't care about the can of worms. I can't have someone humiliate me in front of a crowd like he did."

Mitchell, 33, of Secaucus said Stack approached him at an official holiday party at Schuetzen Park, a restaurant popular with politicians in North Bergen, and asked him why he persistently attends Union City government meetings. Mitchell said he told the mayor he does so to find out what is going on in the city.

Stack called him a "spy," grabbed his neck and tried to choke him, Mitchell said.

Mitchell, who says he is in real estate, said he also attends meetings in other municipalities in the area.

"I have no agenda," he told the Journal. "I'm not in anybody's organization. I just go to the meetings to see what's going on."

But Stack, through a spokesman, Mark Albiez, suggested Mitchell has political motivations.

"You know election season must be approaching when a matter as ridiculous as this surfaces," Albiez said. "This is politics at its worst. Senator Stack looks forward to addressing this silly accusation."

Mitchell filed a complaint in North Bergen charging Stack with simple assault.

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