Dueling videos show the arrest of a Philadelphia woman suspected of consumption of alcohol by minors on a New Jersey beach, with a shot by a beachgoer to show a police officer punching her in the head, and the police body-cam images appear to show her spitting on an officer after that.
The videos will be examined as part of an investigation into Sunday the arrest of the 20-year-old Emily Weinman of Philadelphia. Her video arrest on the Wildwood, New Jersey, a beach has gone viral.
Wildwood Police released the body-cam footage on Wednesday that shows an officer asking Weinman about the presence of alcoholic beverages on the beach. She refuses repeated requests to give her the name and running away from an officer.
Body-cam footage shows her screaming, “Don’t talk to me,” her hands seem to move in the direction of the lens of the officer’s body camera. At that point, the video is rolled, and Weinman on the sand.
A video shot by a nearby beachgoer shows a police officer punching her twice in the head as she lies prone on the sand, her legs flailing.
“You’re not allowed to beat me!” she cries out. “I am a woman! You are not allowed to hit me and choke me!”
A policeman cuffs her hands behind her back as she lies face-down in the sand. She rolls on her back and appears to spit on one of the officers. Weinman later told The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Daily News she was spitting out the sand that entered her mouth when she down on to the beach, and it was not spitting on an officer.
At a certain point in the video, her foot can be seen flailing in a corner of the video, and a police officer yells, “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!”
If Weinman is led away in handcuffs, she verbally berates the officers, that they “dirtball” and “piece of trash.”
She is facing charges, including aggravated assault to the police. Two of the officers involved are assigned to administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation.
After Weinman in a police vehicle, an officer talks about the arrest of other officers at the scene, including her refusal to identify themselves.
“She tried to walk away from me,” the officer says. “I tried to grab her. She began to kick at us so I threw her on the ground. She kicked him, and when I hit her a few times and I put her in the cuffs and locked her up.”
In a Facebook post, Wildwood Police said that Police Chief Robert Regalbuto “stated that while he finds this video to be alarming, he does not want to rush to a judgment until the final results of the investigation.”
Wildwood Mayor Ernest Troiano told The Philadelphia Inquirer that Weinman was by far the aggressor here.” Her lawyer, Stephen Close, called the mayor’s comments “irresponsible” and said that the police were exaggerating the cost.
“The number of people who think they got what they deserved is appalling,” he told the newspaper.
Neither responded to requests for comment on Thursday.
Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC