Westport police: Man angered by car crash punches, bites cop

(Westport Police Department photo)

WESTPORT, Mass. (WPRI) – A Westport man is facing criminal charges after allegedly attacking a police officer who was directing traffic at the scene of a car crash.

According to Westport police, the initial crash happened at about 11 p.m. Wednesday on Route 88 near Briggs Road. Police stopped traffic while a tow truck removed a damaged vehicle.

At that point, the driver of one of the stopped cars, 21-year-old Jeremy Rioux, got out and approached one of the Westport police officers, demanding to know why he couldn’t drive through. Police described him as “irate that he could not pass through the area” and told him to get back in his car.

Police said that a second officer then approached Rioux to try to get him to go back to his car, and Rioux punched that officer in the face. Several officers subdued and handcuffed him, and at some point during the struggle Rioux bit a sergeant on the hand, breaking the skin.

Rioux was charged with disorderly conduct, assault and battery on a police officer, and resisting arrest.

“Mr. Rioux made a potentially dangerous situation worse by exiting his car,” Detective Jeffrey Majewski wrote in a news release Thursday. “Officers diverted their attention away from scene safety to deal with his behavior which ultimately placed others in harm’s way.”