Man chokes worker in NJ Burger King after mask dispute: Police

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Tuesday, April 6, 2021
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WAYNE, New Jersey (WABC) -- Police in New Jersey arrested a man they say choked a Burger King employee following a dispute over a facemask, and authorities say the man then intentionally slammed his head against a bench during processing.

It happened around 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 27, at the restaurant location of Route 23 South in Wayne.

Officers responded to a report of a man choking a female employee, but the suspect fled the scene on foot prior to their arrival.

The female employee, who was outweighed by the male assailant by 80 pounds, stated that the suspect entered the restaurant, approached her and wrapped both hands around her neck and began strangling her.

Video from the restaurant confirmed her description.

The attack only ended when another female employee intervened and the suspect fled.

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The victim of the attack complained of pain but declined transport to a hospital.

While searching the surrounding area, a patrol officer found a male matching the suspect's description seated in a driveway on Newark-Pompton Turnpike.

As the officer approached, authorities say the man, David Sivertsen, came towards him stating, "You got me." They say he was agitated and appeared to be under the influence of alcohol.

The officer detained Sivertsen, and the victim was brought to his location and identified him as the man who had assaulted her.

Sivertsen was placed under arrest and charged with aggravated assault.

Further investigation determined that the suspect was the same man who had entered Burger King earlier the same day and argued with restaurant employees about his not wearing a mask.

He fled the restaurant prior to the arrival of police in that incident as well.

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Police say he became uncooperative during processing and injured himself by intentionally slamming his head into the steel bench to which he was handcuffed.

Sivertsen was transported to a hospital and, once medically cleared, was transported to Passaic County Jail pending a hearing.


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