Video Shows Arrest on Wildwood Beach Turned Physical
WILDWOOD — A Philadelphia woman said her Memorial Day weekend trip to the shore ended with police physically restraining her and punching her because they believed she was drinking underage and would not provide her name.
Emily Weinman posted the video below on Facebook early Sunday morning of the incident that happened on Saturday afternoon. In the post she said two officer approached her and a friend, asking about their age. She said they were given a breathalyzer test, which came back negative.
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After taking the test Weinman said she asked the officers "don't they have something better to do as cops than to stop people for underage drinking on the beach." She said at that point the officer said he was "gonna let you go but now I'll write you up" and asked her 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," she said.
Weinman said the officer told her if she didn't give him her name she would be arrested. Again refusing to give her name Weinman said the officer approached her to handcuff her, at which point she started to back away and yelling for her 18-month-old daughter's father who was playing in the ocean with the girl.
"I tripped and fell and the cop tackled me to the ground and smashed my head into the sand," she said. "At that point I blacked out and fought any way possible trying to get up and push him off me."
She said the officer proceeded to put her in a head lock and punched her in the head, eventually tightening the head lock so much that it was hard for her to breathe. Weinman said she was "partly wrong in a way," but was scared "especially being aware of the fact that of how grimy law enforcement can be now a days."
In the Facebook post Weinman said if she had taken "even a sip" she would have fully cooperated with the officers, but said "this whole situation was handled wrongly and blew out of proportion because these pigs didn't do their jobs the way they were TRAINED to do so."
She ended the post by saying she was "over here with a sore body, banging headache and the thought of ever trusting a police officer again if anything were to happen in the future."
The Wildwood Police Department released a statement on its Facebook page saying that an internal affairs investigation has been launched and that the officers have been placed on administrative duty pending its outcome.
"Chief (Robert) Regalbuto stated that while he finds this video to be alarming, he does not want to rush to any judgement until having the final results of the investigation," the statement said.
Weinman did not respond to attempts to get a comment on the situation from the Townsquare News Network. The Facebook post from the police said she she has been 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 being a minor in possession of alcohol.
The police department asked anyone who may have witnessed the incident to contact Detective Lt. Kenneth Gallagher at 609-522-0222.