BRIDGETON — An apparently intoxicated man went from ranting about his divorce and cussing out police officers to meekly following orders after getting handcuffed and pepper-sprayed in the face by a cop.

But how the man was pepper-sprayed is raised questions about the arrest because the man already was in handcuffs and was following police orders before the angry cop sprayed him.

Chief Mike Gaimari told NJ.com that "appropriate action was taken" against the officers, but did not say whether they were disciplined.

"Am I totally happy with the way it was handled? No, not with the part that you saw," Gaimari told the website. "However, yes, I feel it could have been handled a little differently."

The incident happened last June when officers Ronald Broomall, John Grier and Donald Young were called to a local gas station, according to documents and video acquired by open-government advocate John Paff.

You can watch large excerpts of the video above. Be warned: The video contains profanity.

In the video, Grier can be heard yelling at the man, "Do you want to feel pain, sir?"

Broomall, who was arresting the man, is accidentally sprayed by Grier.

The arrest happened at the Riggins gas station across the street from the Cumberland County Courthouse. Police encounter the men sitting in the car waiting for the gas station to open because their car had run out of gas.

Police said the men appeared to be drunk but the key was not in the ignition. In the video, the men slur their speech and act belligerently toward police.

An empty whiskey bottle was found in the car, police said.

Police tell the men that they will not get a ticket for DWI because they were not driving, but later on one of the men turns on the car, which is when police decide to arrest one of them.

Police spend most of the encounter patiently speaking to the agitated men, who are repeatedly told to call a sober driver to pick them up.

It is when Drummond turns on the car that Grier, armed with the pepper spray, and Broomall erupt in a fury.

An arrest report obtained by Paff identified the man arrested as 55-year-old Salem resident Marty Drummond. He was charged with driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest.

Drummond can be seen in the video defying police orders by getting out of the car. According to the complaint against him, he refused to get into the patrol car after being arrested. But the video does not show him resisting after he is in handcuffs.

The video also shows Broomall driving Drummond to the police station, where he washes the pepper spray off his head. On the drive over, Broomall hangs his head out of the driver's side window like a dog, ostensibly to allay the affects of the pepper spray on his eyes.

"Tastes terrible," Drummond says outside the police station.

"Yeah," Broomall replies. "It's good on pizza, though."

 

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