Police: Alleged heroin dealer bit, injured cop

EAST BRUNSWICK – Two area men were arrested on heroin charges last week after they allegedly fled from police and hid in separate residences.

One of the men, William Buttcher, 21, of Monroe, was also accused of biting a police officer several times as the officer tried to apprehend him.

An anonymous caller told police about possible drug dealing taking place on Chestnut Street at 7:58 p.m. July 23. When Patrolman Michael Plaskon responded, he found two men and a woman standing outside a silver 1998 Chrysler parked on the street with the doors open.

As the officer approached, Buttcher leaned into the vehicle and began throwing objects onto the ground under the car. He then attempted to hide a cigarette box in the vehicle and removed an object from the box and hid it in his hand, police said, noting that the item was suspected heroin. Buttcher then attempted to run from the scene, ignoring the officer’s commands not to move, according to police.

The second man, 20-year-old Steven Bender, of East Brunswick, also refused to comply with the officer’s commands to remain still and fled the scene on foot after apparently trying to hide something in the rear seat of the vehicle, police said.

As Plaskon radioed headquarters for assistance, Buttcher reportedly struck the officer in the chest and ran away on foot. Plaskon caught up with Buttcher in the yard of a Chestnut Street residence. As Plaskon attempted to handcuff him, Buttcher bit the officer on the hand, causing an injury, according to police. The struggle continued, with Buttcher allegedly biting Plaskon several more times, causing injury to both hands and his leg.

Buttcher broke free and ran off along Chestnut Street, but was apprehended later in the evening by the Jamesburg Police Department at a Helmetta residence, and was turned over to East Brunswick authorities.

Bender was found hiding in a Main Street residence a short time later by Patrolman Robert Zielinski and Sgt. George Kaltenbach.

A search of the vehicle and scene yielded a quantity of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, police said. The vehicle was searched with the assistance of the Edison Police Department’s K-9 Unit, which had also assisted in the search for the suspects.

Buttcher was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, possession of heroin, distribution of heroin, possession of marijuana under 50 grams, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest. He was committed to the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center, North Brunswick, on $100,000 bail.

Bender was charged with possession of heroin and resisting arrest, and was held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Charges against the female suspect are pending further investigation, police said.

Plaskon was treated for his injuries at Raritan Bay Medical Center, Old Bridge division.