North Royalton man convicted of attacking officer, gouging her eyes

North Royalton man convicted of attacking officer, gouging her eyes
John Pugnea

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A North Royalton man has pleaded guilty to attacking a North Royalton police officer last August.

Officer Alexandra Bell went to John Pugnea’s home on Aug. 18, 2019 to question him about a road rage incident which had happened earlier that day.

John Pugnea will be sentenced April 6 for attacking a North Royalton police officer.
John Pugnea will be sentenced April 6 for attacking a North Royalton police officer.

Pugnea refused multiple commands and began fighting with the officer.

During the assault, Pugnea punched her multiple times in the face and tried to gouge out her eyes.

“He moved his fingers over my eyes and began to push them into my eye sockets,” Bell wrote. “He then moved his thumbs into my eyes and pushed harder. It felt as though my eyes were going to pop and I screamed for help. I believed that he was going to kill me and I was afraid for my life.”

She said Pugnea had pushed into her eyes so hard that her vision temporarily went black and one of her contact lenses was pushed up underneath her eyelid.

Officer Alexandra Bell (Source: NRPD)
Officer Alexandra Bell (Source: NRPD)

She was transported to Southwest General Hospital for treatment.

Other officers arrived on the scene and took Pugnea into custody.

Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Daniel Gaul will sentence Pugnea on April 6.

Records show Pugnea has a history of violent behavior.

In 1982, he was charged with assaulting two North Royalton police officers and sentenced to four days in jail.

Pugnea was also charged with domestic violence in 2001 but was convicted of an amended charge of persistent disorderly conduct.

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