A Clifton judge sent a harassment case involving 2nd Ward councilman Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman for mediation on Monday evening.
Municipal judge John Meola sent the case that involves charges and counter charges stemming from a landlord-tenant dispute on Edmund Avenue in April to mediation. Attorneys for Akhtaruzzaman and Rafael Ortiz, one of the parties involved in the incident, agreed to potentially resolve the case prior to returning before the judge in September.
The incident on Edmund Avenue involved three men: Ortiz, Basharul Choudhry, and Nelson Hernandez. Ortiz and Hernandez, building superintendent for 215 Edmund Avenue, approached Choudhry as he was smoking behind the building. The two men proceeded to tell Choudhry to quit smoking near the building.
There was a slight verbal dispute in the backyard. Ortiz and Hernandez left the backyard and were in the corner of Edmund and Union Avenues where Choudhry’s vehicle was parked. As Choudhry approached his vehicle to head for work words were exchanged between the parties.
Ortiz ended up striking Choudhry. Police responded to the scene. Choudhry was taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center. A relative of Choudhry’s contacted Akhtaruzzaman. The councilman responded to the scene at which point Ortiz approached him, but Akhtaruzzaman told him he did not wish to speak to him.
The story differs as to what happened between Ortiz and Akhtaruzzaman. Ortiz’s harassment charge claims Akhtaruzzaman allegedly said he would “not rest” until the former was behind bars.
Akhtaruzzaman’s counter claim states Ortiz threatened him. “I sent your friend to the hospital, I’ll beat you up, and send you to the hospital,” Ortiz allegedly told the councilman, according to Akhtaruzzaman.
The councilman has maintained Ortiz’s claim has no merit.
Both cases were transferred to Clifton municipal court because of Akhtaruzzaman’s position in the city.
There’s also the assault charges filed against Ortiz and Hernandez by Choudhry. Those charges, pending in Paterson municipal court, will be used to strike some sort of a resolution in both cases indicated Eric Weiss, who is Ortiz’s attorney in the case.
Theodore Kyles, Akhtaruzzaman’s attorney, said something could be worked out even before September. That may depend on whether Choudhry wants to drop the assault charges he has filed against both Ortiz and Hernandez.