Chatham man says he intends to fight summons for striking officer with car

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A Morris County man says that he intends to fight a summons received for careless driving after he struck a police officer with his car.

Chatham attorney William Anastasio says that he was driving home on Dec. 11 when he came upon an accident on Howard Boulevard in Mount Arlington.

“I had my hands on the wheel. I was doing the speed limit – I was doing less than the speed limit. I have my seatbelt on, I was looking straight forward and there was a car parked on my right and as I passed it, a figure walked out from behind the car and I hit him,” Anastasio says.

That figure was Mount Olive Police Sgt. James Distasio, who was seriously injured as a result.

“I truly feel awful about it and I hope that I will be able to make it up to him in some way,” says Anastasio.

The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office says that no charges have been filed against Anastasio, but Anastasio says that he received a summons in the mail two weeks ago for careless driving – a summons he says that he will fight against.

“I didn’t do anything wrong myself, but they have their reasons, whatever they are,” he says.

He says that he has the utmost respect for law enforcement officers and that he hopes to one day meet Distasio.

"I will visit him when he's ready and express my sincere regrets for what happened,” Anastasio says.

The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office is handling the investigation. Officials were not able to provide an update on the sergeant’s condition.

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