Man arrested in threat to New Milford zoning officer

CVP FIRST: A threatening phone call that frightened a New Milford borough employee led to the arrest of a New York man.

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

“Given the degree of animosity toward municipal, county and state workers that has crept into our culture, there is a heightened sense of awareness when it comes to statements  concerning their safety,” New Milford Police Chief Frank Papapietro said. “What could have been brushed off ten years ago as a benign comment now needs to be examined in a different light.

“People need to learn to choose their words carefully.”

Joseph Bottigliero, 63, of Kingston, was upset over borough officials’ decision to deem his sister’s Summit Avenue home unsafe, Papapietro said. Although they suggested ways of correcting the violations, the chief said, these were ignored.

An irate Bottigliero called the borough zoning officer on Tuesday and told her “she should be shot,” Papapietro said. He also said he “would call the borough attorney and have her position terminated,” the chief said.

His officers then learned that Bottigliero once told the borough welfare director that “he kills women and children,” the chief said.

A warrant was issued, and Bottigliero was arrested yesterday by Police Officers Darrell Marshall and  Derek Mattessich.

Bottilgliero posted $5,000 bail and was released pending a Municipal Court appearance next Wednesday. The case will be referred to a grand jury, Papapietro said.

“The news is filled with attacks occurring in the workplace and most municipal buildings have security design flaws making the employees vulnerable to an outside threat,” the chief said. “For the sake of efficient government function,  municipal workers and their counterparts on the state and county level need to be secure in the knowledge that they are able to do their jobs without fear for their safety or reprisal.”

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