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Texas man charged with assault at Maple City Ice

Cary Ashby • Oct 3, 2017 at 5:00 PM

A Texas man has been charged with assault in connection with an incident on or near Maple City Ice Co. where some workers have been on strike since Sept. 1.

Jose Carbajal Jr., 38, is charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. His Norwalk Municipal Court arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 23.

The Cleveland Road incident was reported just after 2:30 p.m. Sept. 21. The Huron County Sheriff’s Office responded to Maple City Ice and received mutual aid from the Norwalk Police Department.

The person who called authorities reported being hit in the head with a billy club, police Capt. Mike Conney said.

The suspected incident involved several striking Maple City Ice drivers and members of Teamsters’ Union Local 20. Maple City Ice, in its statement released to the Reflector, alleged the “striking employees, along with the Teamster agent and another Teamster he brought from out of town, began verbally harassing and threatening independent truck drivers who were delivering loads of beer from the brewery.” 

“Later that day, the Teamster harasser from out of town crossed onto company property and began threatening an independent truck driver from the brewery, telling him he would ‘flatten his tires’ and ‘take care of him for crossing over an active picket line,’” according to the company.

“Apparently, the independent truck driver believed he was going to be physically assaulted by the out-of-town Teamster and when the Teamster charged at him, he struck him in self-defense. An employee of the Maple City Ice Co. witnessed the event.”

After deputies took statements from various people, “the independent truck driver was permitted to go on his way,” according to Maple City Ice. 

Deputies later forwarded a report to the Norwalk Law Director’s Office for review.

Today marks the 34th day of the strike by Maple City Ice drivers. The Teamsters are striking over a failing pension fund.

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