Dueling videos show the arrest of a Philadelphia woman suspected of underage drinking on a New Jersey beach, with one shot by a beachgoer showing a police officer punching her in the head, and police body-cam footage appearing to show her spitting at an officer afterward.
The videos are being examined as part of an investigation into Sunday’s arrest of 20-year-old Emily Weinman of Philadelphia. Her videotaped arrest on the Wildwood, New Jersey, beach has gone viral.
Wildwood Police released the body-cam footage on Wednesday, which shows an officer questioning Weinman about the presence of alcoholic beverages on the beach. She refuses repeated requests to give her name and walks away from an officer.
Body-cam footage shows her yelling, “Don’t talk to me,” then her hands appear to move toward the lens of the officer’s body camera. At that point, the video becomes jumbled and Weinman is on the sand.
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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 like that!” she yells. “I’m a woman! You’re not allowed to hit me and choke me like that!”
A police officer cuffs her hands behind her back as she lies face-down in the sand. She then rolls over onto her back and appears to spit at one of the officers. Weinman later told The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News she was spitting out sand that got into her mouth when she was face-down on the beach, and was not spitting at an officer.
At one point in the video, her foot can be seen flailing in a corner of the video, and a police officer yells, “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!”
As Weinman is led away in handcuffs, she verbally berates the officers, calling them “dirtball” and “piece of trash.”
She faces charges including aggravated assault on a police officer. Two of the officers involved have been reassigned to administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation.
After Weinman is put into a police vehicle, an officer recounts the arrest to other officers at the scene, including her refusal to identify herself.
“She tried walking away from me,” the officer says. “I tried grabbing her. She started kicking at us so I slammed her on the ground. She kicked him, and then I hit her a couple times and I put her in cuffs and locked her up.”
In a Facebook post, Wildwood Police said Police Chief Robert Regalbuto “stated that while he finds this video to be alarming, he does not want to rush to any judgment until having the final results of the investigation.”
Wildwood Mayor Ernest Troiano told The Philadelphia Inquirer that Weinman was “by far the aggressor here.” Her attorney Stephen Dicht, called the mayor’s comments “irresponsible,” and said police were exaggerating the charges.
“The number of people who think she got what she deserved is appalling,” he told the newspaper.
Neither responded to requests for comment on Thursday.
Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC