WEST NEW YORK – Any remaining sense of Election Day morning calm was shattered on Tuesday when Commissioner Count Wiley, the leader of the opposition slate against incumbent West New York Mayor Felix Roque, allegedly struck Roque’s son outside of a polling station.
“[Wiley] comes walking down the street like a madman, ripping signs down up and down the block,” said Joseph Roque, 25, of West New York, a student who is volunteering for his father’s campaign, about what he claims took place at the corner of 58th Street and Jefferson Street in West New York at approximately 8:35 a.m., ten minutes before PolitickerNJ arrived at the Otis Gardens apartments to interview Mayor Roque. “I see him, and I say ‘That’s no way for a candidate to act.’ He dropped the F-bomb several times. As he’s ripping down signs, I say, ‘You’re not going to rip any more signs down.'”
“I stand right in front of the pole. [Wiley] pushes me into the pole and he’s trying to grab the sign down. And as he takes the sign, his fist hits my face in the lip,” Roque continued. “Then he walks away.”
Roque then turned around to reveal several spots of blood on the back of his white dress shirt.
“I don’t even know whose blood this is,” Roque said. “I just got this shirt cleaned.”
An examination by police officers and PolitickerNJ of Roque’s back showed no cuts in the area of the blood spot.
Roque referenced the police when he described his final exchange with Wiley.
“As I was coming over to the police officer nearby, I told [Wiley] I was calling the cops,” Roque said. “He goes ‘Call the cops, you f****** crybaby. Who [cares]? He has his witness [commissioner candidate] Myrli Sanchez.”
Roque claims to have his own witness. The witness, Blanca Sanchez, corroborated Roque’s account.
After speaking with PolitickerNJ, Roque went into a police car in order to be taken to the police station to file a police report, which listed Sanchez as a witness.
Mayor Roque did not witness the alleged incident but confirmed that a police report has been filed, a copy of which has been obtained by PolitickerNJ. Roque commented on what he saw as the atmosphere in West New York’s streets on Election Day.
“Mr. Wiley is becoming very aggressive because he knows he has lost. He doesn’t have the manpower that we have out there,” Roque said. “It’s going to get worse throughout the day. I’m telling my people to keep calm, but he’s going to go nuts. You see the back of my son’s shirt? That’s Wiley’s blood. That’s not the type of mayor that we need to have.
“I anticipate a couple of arrests today. I anticipate Wiley himself trying to bodily hurt me,” said Roque, a U.S. Army veteran. “But I’m prepared. Basic training taught me good skills.”
Rafael Sanchez, the opposition West New York United slate campaign manager, had an opposing view of events.
“Joseph Roque attacked my wife [Myrli Sanchez],” said Sanchez, saying the two people were arguing over a poster. “Count went over there to tell him to back off. Then Count had to get [Roque] off of him any way he could. Either Count or the campaign or both is going to file an assault charge against Joseph Roque. They’re trying to get our people to riot.”