Report finds state troopers used excessive force

June 4, 2012 1:54:18 PM PDT
It took more than one thousand days for New Jersey State Police to respond to this internal affairs investigation, but now officials agree that 2 troopers used unreasonable force on a young man who was still recovering from a traumatic brain injury.

21-year old James John Bayliss was charged with resisting arrest. His face was covered in bloody scrapes and bruises and his hands and knees were also bloodied. His attorney says that ever since a car accident that left him in a coma for three months, Bayliss has had trouble processing commands.

"He has a difficult time responding to people, a little slow, a little more deliberate," attorney Robert Woodruff said.

Bayliss had been drinking and a friend was driving his car home when they were pulled over on Jackson Valley Road in Oxford just after dawn on May 16, 2009. State Police in Warren County had been searching for two young men suspected of trying to break into someone's home.

Police video shows Bayliss being taken out of his car and slammed to the ground. In a report taken after the incident, Trooper Richard Wambold wrote, "... His defiant manner and expressions, threatening physical gestures, non-compliance with instructions, intentional hiding of his hands numerous times... lead me to a level of heightened caution..."

But Bayliss' friend, who was driving, had warned police that Bayliss wasn't quite right, that he seemed 'messed up,' ever since his car accident. Timothy Snyder added, "At no time did I observe John make any aggressive gesture or action towards the Officer... I saw the Officer physically throw John to the ground, jump on him, and pummel John with his fists.".

The entire incident was caught on the dashboard video camera.

"This makes the presentation more clear other than people trying to recreate," Woodruff said.

It's not clear why it took 1000 days to investigate. Authorities said disciplinary action against the troopers is still being determined.

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