WILDWOOD, N.J. (CBS) – Police in Wildwood have released body cam footage following a controversial beach arrest that was caught on video over Memorial Day Weekend.
The incident happened on a beach near East Schellinger Avenue on May 26 when police say Emily Weinman, 20, of Philadelphia, was drunk on the beach and refused to provide police with her ID.
A video that’s now gone viral shows a Wildwood police officer punching Weinman during the arrest.
In one body cam video, police approach Weinman, requesting her to take a breathalyzer test.
“During the initial encounter, the Officer can be heard stating that he was just going to have Ms. Weinman pour the alcohol out, without issuing any violations and then he terminates the recording,” said police in a news release.
In a Facebook post that was later taken down, Weinman says she was on the beach with her daughter, her daughter’s father, and a friend when the incident occurred shortly after 4 p.m.
“I had alcohol, it’s Memorial Day weekend and 90 percent of people are underage drinking on the beach, without a doubt. Two cops approach me on a their four wheelers and ask me and my friend how old we are, we gave them our ages. Then, we got breathalized, and it came back negative. I told them I wasn’t drinking and the alcohol was clearly closed/sealed, which the cops seen,” she wrote on Facebook.
Weinman claims she cooperated with their requests at first, but refused to give them her name when they asked for it to give her a citation.
“I asked them don’t they have something better to do as cops than to stop people for underage drinking on the beach, saying to that there’s so much more serious stuff going on… the cop said, ‘I was gonna let you go but now I’ll write you up’ and he asked my name. I did not do anything wrong and anything could’ve been written down on that paper so I wouldn’t give it to him,” Weinman explains in the Facebook post.
In the second body cam video, Weinman can be heard discussing the possession of alcohol on the beach.
Officers are heard conversing with Weinman about the alcohol possession.
“It’s not open,” Weinman says.
“Open display,” police respond to Weinman.
“OK, you can see it, but we’re not drinking it,” Weinman says.
Police soon made the determination to arrest Weinman.
“OK, I’m done with you… do you have cuffs on you?” one officer says to his partner.
In the video, Weinman walks away, yelling ,”Don’t f****** touch me.”
“You’re about to get dropped,” police can be heard saying.
Video shows Weinman touch the officer moments before her arrest.
Authorities initially said Weinman kicked the officer in the genitals and ran off.
In a press release on Wednesday, police say Weinman “forcibly struck” the officer in the torso. The altercation caused the body camera to turn off briefly, police said.
The third body cam video shows the arrest as officers are seen punching the woman multiple times during the apprehension. Video also shows Weinman spitting on one officer.
“Get off of me, don’t pull my hair, what are you doing?” Weinman can be heard yelling. “Matthew, they’re choking me.”
“I’m not choking,” the officer says moments before punching her in front of a crowd of beachgoers.
Police say Weinman 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.
The officers involved in the incident have been reassigned pending the outcome of the investigation.
An attorney for Weinman tells CBS3 this new video doesn’t change anything and that it’s not consistent with what Wildwood has claimed, that she was the aggressor. He adds the physical confrontation shown this time around is worse than what was taken by the bystander.
On Tuesday, Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano called Weinman the aggressor.
“I see him taking two shots at her and right away you go, ‘Oh my god,’” said Troiano.
“You have a young lady who was out of control. Did she deserve to get hit? Maybe not. But then again maybe she did deserve it, I don’t know,” Troiano added. “She assaults them, she spits at them, she kicks them, but right away the police officer at that point did what he had to do,” said Troiano.
Weinman has a summons to appear in court on June 15.
The Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office says they reviewing the arrest.