Officers reassigned amid probe of video of beach altercation in Wildwood

Lucy Yang Image
Monday, May 28, 2018
Officers reassigned amid probe of video of beach altercation in Wildwood
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Lucy Yang has more on the Wildwood beach altercation.

WILDWOOD, New Jersey (WABC) -- Police officers have been reassigned to administrative duty amid an investigation into a video posted online showing an officer punching a woman on a beach in New Jersey.

It was a wild scene on the beach in Wildwood as police tried to arrest a 20-year-old woman who clearly did not want to be handcuffed. Cellphone video shows one officer hitting the woman twice on the head.

The woman can be heard saying, 'You're not allowed to do that.' Bystanders are also heard yelling at the woman not to resist.

The incident happened on Saturday afternoon around 4 p.m. Emily Weinman from Philadelphia posted on her Facebook page that she is the person who police tried to arrest. She says she was at the beach with her baby and the baby's father and she admits she is underage and she drank.

Later, she says, 'Two cops approached me - we got breathalyzed. It came back negative. I told them I wasn't drinking.'

Moments later, a scuffle erupted.

Wildwood police said on their Facebook page that Weinman faces several charges, including two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Wildwood Police Chief Robert Regalbuto said he finds the video "alarming" but doesn't want to "rush to any judgment" until the investigation is complete.

Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the episode was a "shame," but said police would soon release body camera footage showing officers being insulted and spat upon. Weinman is also charged with spitting at an officer.

"It wasn't just that this officer decided to beat her up," he said. "That wasn't the case."

Troiano declined comment on the use of force, saying he didn't know the whole story, but added: "We don't like to see anyone get hit, period. But then again, when you have someone who's aggressively attacking you or spitting at you . I wasn't there. I don't know."

He also expressed frustration at the amount of underage drinking, saying no one is allowed to drink in public or on the beach in Wildwood unless they are attending an event that has received a permit to allow drinking.

Wildwood police asked anyone who was present and has video of the altercation to come forward to help their internal affairs investigation, in which Cape May County officers will also be assisting.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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