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New Milford Man Accused of Causing Bergen County Courthouse Flood

Judge and officer injured in falls; courthouse closed for remainder of the day, official says.

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. 

AML July 09, 2012 at 10:23 PM
If this idiot has any assets such as a home, car, bank accounts, they should automatically be seized and the monies should be utilized to pay for all of the damages he caused for breaking the pipe which caused the flooding at the Bergen County Courthouse. Bergen County taxpayers should not be made to foot this bill; we are overburdened as is. His punishment should be solitary confinement with no RUNNING WATER in his cell....let him pass out from the stench of himself and his cell! That would be a decent punishment for him!
AML July 09, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Oh, I am sorry....he should never see the light of day...throw away the key....our Police Chief said that this man is known to the department and has a long history of arrests.....once again, taxpayers' money is being spent on someone who cannot be rehabilitated by going back & forth to jail. What are we going to do? Feel sorry for him & set him free to possibly kill someone? My sympathy guage has run dry! people like him.
* July 10, 2012 at 01:41 AM
This guy doesn't need drugs to prove his stupidity
Ricky July 10, 2012 at 07:57 AM
Sadly this is what happens when drug addiction takes a hold on your life. It ruins any chance of living normal or very long for that matter unless you're determined to get into rehab and turn your life around. He doesn't have the desire so far.
Bruce Knuckle July 10, 2012 at 10:45 AM
@Ricky, Oh boo hoo hoo, The poor addicted loser has no chance. Hopefully he kills himself b4 some innocent person.
Ricky July 10, 2012 at 11:43 AM
Now hold on Bruce, I'm not trying to defend this guy. I 'm just pointing out a major problem today, the use of drugs and what they do to your brain and behavior. You never want to give up on anyone if there's any chance a serious rehab stint could turn the person's life around. It does happen, but unfortunately sometimes it doesn't.
Walter Murray July 10, 2012 at 11:46 AM
If we did have prohibition, would this guy even be there? If people were treated medically instead of criminally, they wouldn't be tagged with a scarlet letter which compound their problems.
jp1 July 10, 2012 at 02:57 PM
We do have prohibition on drugs in this country assuming that the problem is drugs. Just strikes me that this person is a loser.
Tony Almeada July 10, 2012 at 04:53 PM
So why did he kick the pipe? Love it how everyone here is asking for his head as if he had committed the crime of the century, maybe the poor guy has mental problems. There are far worse things to worry about in these times than a petty crime of kicking a pipe - get a mop and a bucket and move on.
Me July 10, 2012 at 05:10 PM
"A Superior Court judge and a sheriff’s officer slipped on the wet ground and were both treated for injuries, Moriarty said." Really? Kids know how to walk in 2 inches of water. Why are slipping? It must have been funny to see them slip though, like a Stooges episode.
J.D. Luke July 10, 2012 at 06:11 PM
I'm assuming that "did" was a simple typographical error, and that Walter meant "didn't". I tend to agree with that sentiment, that bringing law enforcement into what is essentially a health problem just compounds the issues.
AML July 10, 2012 at 06:20 PM
So, Tony please open up your wallet & pay for the damages, if this is such a "petty" thing as you say! Cough up the money! Better yet, open up your house & take him in to rehabilitate him. If he happened to kill a family member of yours, or, your child, would you be this forgiving? He is obviously addicted to drugs! He has been arrested numerous times & I blame the laws for allowing him to be released. He was not born with a needle in his arms, he elected to put the needle into his arms. Sympathy can only go so far, when there are truly deserving people who are suffering every day through no fault of their own!
AML July 10, 2012 at 06:32 PM
To Me..... To have thought that it was "funny" to see a judge & sheriff's officer slip on wet ground is the most idiotic comment to say the least! To compare it to an episode of the Stooges is even more absurd. To compare adults slipping with the potential of severely hurting themselves to children that walk in 2 inches of water, well, let's just say this.......what's funny is that you must have the lowest of the low IQ. Time that you make an appointment to see a neurologist to check whatever thought processes you may have! Perhaps, one day you will slip & fall into a shard of glass & then you can laugh at yourself & think "gee whiz, a child would have not done what I just did! Grow up & get a life!
Tax payer July 15, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Yeah, put him away for life. Better yet, give him the electric chair for causing the judge and the deputy slip and fall, pitty. I'm sure this time they will hold him for a while since the poor souls slipped and fell. Otherwise, the judge will let him go again to go and hurt the innocent.
Tony Almeada July 17, 2012 at 02:31 PM
and you want to be my latex salesman

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