Dover councilman accused of harassing homeless men he says were publicly drunk

Dover police say that on Wednesday night Rodriguez got into an argument with three homeless men before approaching them and kicking one of them.

Matt Trapani and Amanda Lee

Feb 10, 2024, 3:26 AM

Updated 66 days ago

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A Dover councilman was accused of harassing a group of homeless men. But Councilman Sergio Rodriguez says he was wrongfully charged.
Dover police say that on Wednesday night Rodriguez got into an argument with three homeless men before approaching them and kicking one of them – causing a hand injury. He is also accused of chasing them when they tried to get away.
Rodriguez recorded the confrontation on his phone and says it's not the full story. He says the three men were openly drinking alcohol on the street near East Blackwell and North Sussex streets.
He says that concerned residents have told him that the men had been harassing children and selling drugs nearby.
The video he posted on Facebook shows him trying to help police detain the men. But Rodriguez says he was the one who was arrested and issued a summons and says the three men were not charged at all.
“If this is how the police department wants to handle the situation, this is scary,” Rodriguez stated in a Facebook video.
The councilman posted the video on Friday after several others he posted following the incident.
"This is a flaw in our justice system. We cannot have these open drunkards accusing and harassing people in our community with zero consequences,” Rodriguez said.
He says he filed a complaint with the police, who didn’t help at all.
"I’m being told that because these three individuals do not have addresses, these complaints are going to go – I’m saying it word for word – ‘nowhere,’” Rodriguez said.
News 12 New Jersey reached out to Dover police for more information and is waiting to hear back.
Rodriguez was processed and released on Friday pending a court date.


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