Mayor: Cops seen punching woman were doing their job
WILDWOOD — Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. said the officers involved in a violent struggle caught on video were doing their jobs, because the woman involved refused to comply with an officer’s orders.
The video posted to Twitter by another woman on the Wildwood beach, who said she woke from a nap to the commotion, showed the arrest of Emily Weinman, 20, of Philadelphia late Saturday afternoon by several Wildwood police officers. Two officers are seen on their knees trying to restrain Weinman, who is on her knees wearing a bathing suit, as she flails. One of the officers punches her in the back.
As another woman repeatedly said "stop resisting," Weinman said "you're not allowed to hit me like that."
Weinman, in a Facebook post, had said she was initially approached because she had unopened containers of alcohol on the beach. Her Facebook account has either since been removed or is no longer visible.
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Troiano told NJ.com that Weinman "refused to comply" and police were doing their job. He said the city is taking an "aggressive stance" against underage drinking on the beach.
But he also acknowledged he hasn't seen the body cam video of the incident, and doesn't know the full story behind it, according to the report.
Officers wrote "hundreds of tickets" over the Memorial Day weekend, Troiano told the Press of Atlantic City. The mayor said the city is trying to change its "party town" image that tolerates underage drinking.
In a statement, Police Chief Robert Regalbuto said the two officers were placed on administrative duty pending an investigation. He said he wants to avoid a "rush to judgement" as to what happened until the investigation is complete.
Last June an 18-second video was posted to social media that showed a Wildwood officer striking a man on New Jersey Avenue. An investigation determined that the man had struck the officer multiple times, which was not shown in the video clip, according to Regalbuto.
In a Facebook post on Sunday that is no longer visible to the public, Weinman said she asked, "Don't they have something better to do as cops than to stop people for underage drinking on the beach?" She said at that point the officer said he was "gonna let you go but now I'll write you up" and asked her name, which she refused to reveal.
Again refusing to give her name, Weinman said the officer approached her to handcuff her, at which point she started to back away and yelled for her 18-month-old daughter's father, who was playing in the ocean with the girl.
She said the officer proceeded to put her in a headlock and punched her in the head, eventually tightening the headlock so much that it was hard for her to breathe. Weinman said she was "partly wrong in a way," but was scared "especially being aware of the fact that of how grimy law enforcement can be now a days."
She was charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, aggravated assault by spitting bodily fluids at/on a police officer, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, obstruction and minor in possession of alcohol.
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