HACKENSACK - A 27-year-old New Milford man was arrested Monday after he broke a water pipe at the Bergen County Courthouse, causing significant damage and forcing the building to close for the remainder of the day, the sheriff’s office said.
Benjamin Blohm was caught on camera kicking the third floor pipe until it broke, according to Bergen County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Richard Moriarty. Sheriff's officers reviewed security footage and arrested Blohm at the courthouse.
Blohm was in the building for a drug court appearance, Moriarty said.
A Superior Court judge and a sheriff’s officer slipped on the wet ground and were both treated for injuries, Moriarty said. The judge was taken to an area hospital, but his condition was not immediately available.
The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, on the second floor, sustained heavy damage and forced some staff to relocate. An elevator shaft was also apparently flooded.
Officials were forced to shut down water in the building, Moriarty said. There was a concern that water would hit electrical outlets, causing a hazard.
Blohm faces charges of criminal mischief and causing a disturbance which caused widespread injury.
Blohm was in court Monday awaiting an appearance before Superior Court Judge Eugene H. Austin on drug charges stemming from a New Year's Eve arrest in New Milford.
According to New Milford Police Chief Frank Papapietro, Blohm has a long history of arrests.
"He is well known to our department," Papapietro said, adding that Blohm is also facing additional charges stemming from an arrest by New Milford police in May for possession of drug paraphernalia.
He was being held on $50,000 bail.