Deptford, NJ, Guard Charged With Aggravated Assault in Dog Attack
DEPTFORD — A privately hired security officer has been charged with aggravated assault for his role in a dog attack on a man outside a township restaurant last week.
Deptford police responded to the Adelphia Restaurant on Clements Bridge Road on Thursday night, where a patron had been bit by a dog that was under the direction of a man later identified as 33-year-old Steven T. Rudy, of Virginia.
A day later, two protesters were arrested in the restaurant parking lot and charged with disorderly conduct.
The charge was filed against Rudy on Wednesday by Deptford Township Police, which had already referred the case to the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office.
Video posted to Facebook by Tamika Hollywood shows Rudy running with the dog toward her adult son, who gets attacked and suffers puncture wounds.
In one of her posts, Hollywood said the incident had begun as a fight over the man wearing a hat.
Khalif Hunter, 26, of Burlington, said to The Philadelphia Inquirer that the video clip did not pick up Rudy saying to his dog “Live bite” multiple times.
“What kind of restaurant has an attack unit with a dog in its parking lot,” Tyrus Ballard, of the Southern Burlington County chapter of the NAACP, said in the same report to the Inquirer.
“It has been absolutely necessary and appropriate to undertake this investigation at a time when the use of force, and circumstances under which force is deployed, is a topic of extensive public discussion and concern,” Acting Gloucester County Prosecutor Christine Hoffman said in a written statement.
Adelphia Restaurant has not publicly addressed the incident in which the patron was bit in the parking lot, but did share a message to Instagram about "disruptions" during events and dining in the following days.
"We sincerely apologize for any distractions to your Adelphia experience over the past few days," a post on the venue's Instagram account said, signed by the Balis family. "Please accept our sincere thanks for your patience and understanding."
Deptford Police Chief Frank Newkirk said that officers have worked hard to achieve the right balance in addressing the protests which have taken place since the incident.
“In the interest of those who gather, as well as the officers on scene, we are committed to constant communication and cooperation so that all involved, as well as patrons of the restaurant and those traveling on Clements Bridge Road, remain safe and secure,” Newkirk said in a written release.