UPDATE: Church bells tolled, a lone bagpiper played, but otherwise all remained silent during a solemn final drive-by Wednesday morning for late Dumont Police Sgt. James Flaherty Jr.
Sgt. James Flaherty Jr., 51, was four months shy of 25 years in blue -- just about all of it in Dumont, records show.
He’d returned to work after back surgery only to be re-injured last Nov. 1 when he and fellow officers tried to restrain two men from going into a burning building.
Police were concerned about the safety of the men, who insisted on trying to enter the fully engulfed house to rescue a pit bull. Flaherty ended up sustaining serious back and knee injuries when one of the men picked him up and threw him against a car, authorities said.
SEE: Man Injured In Dumont House Fire Charged With Assaulting Officer
A Toms River native, Flaherty joined the department in 1995 after after four months with the Seaside Heights Police Department. He’d also worked at All American Ford.
Flaherty was single and lived in the Cambridge Heights section of Ramsey.
"Please keep him, his family, and our brothers and sisters at the Dumont Police Department in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time," Flaherty’s department said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
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