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Mayor defends training program for seasonal police officer who beat wife during New Jersey Beach Arrest



Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. of Wildwood, New Jersey, is unwilling to convict the cop who has been videotaped and repeatedly beat a woman on the beach on Memorial Day.

"I do not want anyone to say the police are wrong or wrong," said Troiano ABC News in an interview. "We'll take the time to review all the videos."

Fellow beach-goer Alexis Hewitt, 19, captured several uniformed Wildwood Police Department officers on video trying to subdue the woman. The material was posted on Saturday at about 16 clock online.

Later identified as Emily Weinman, she can be seen in the video flinging her arms and legs in a one-piece black swimsuit and jean shorts.

The two policemen, who were in need of body surgery, wrestled the 20-year-old from Philadelphia into the sand and one sees him throwing three blows with his right fist on the head while another holds his legs.

Numerous beachcombers circling close combat can be heard repeatedly, Weinman warns, "resistance to resist."

  PHOTO: A video made its rounds on social media, where police rammed a woman to the ground and hit her on the beach at Wildwood, New Jersey on May 26, 2018. Alexis Hewitt
A video made its rounds on social media showing that policemen are wrestling a woman to the ground and beating her on the beach at Wildwood, NJ, on May 26, 2018.

Weinman was charged with serious injury to a police officer, bodily injury from spitting body fluids at a police officer, improper conduct, resistance to arrest, disability, and possession of alcohol by minors.

The officials in the video remain unidentified and have been used restrictively while the matter is being investigated internally, police said.

But the mayor said the employment of the officers and their aspirations along the beach were part of a coordinated effort to cope with the swelling crowd and break hard on illegal drinking.

"There are hundreds of illegal drinking tickets on the beach," said Troiano. "It's open and open."

He said that the idea that people think they can bend the rules in Wildwood is wrong.

"Wildwood has always been a hit, because that's Wildwood, so anything is possible, that's the perception that many are spreading there and we do not want people to have that perception," he said wrongly drinking minors, which is sometimes quite rampant, is okay? You do things that are wrong, you get locked up or not and instead get involved in an accident or drown in a pool or drown in the ocean or run over someone – should we tell people it's okay to do that in Wildwood? "

He stated that the law must be respected.

"We have rules and regulations to follow," he said. "We do not make the rules, but we have to enforce the rules, especially if we have hundreds of thousands of people on the beach, and just because that woman did something wrong, why should we reduce our restrictions on enforcing the law?"

The mayor believes that the incident could have been avoided if Weinman had only met her identification.

"The bottom line is that the officers have requested their ID," he said. "She took a position," I do not give you the ID. "They would go, but then she started saying," You have nothing better to do, Blabla. "

Even if Weinman was not drunk, she had no right to "kick" or "spit" on the officers, he said.

"All she had to do was give her ID, and that would have been a non-entity," he added.

Troiano also praised the education of the bulls who were hired as "Class II, special part-time police officers" during the summer months to cope with the heavy tourism.

"These officers are trained," he said, noting that they had completed a tough 26-week "live-in" bootcamp training at the Cape May County Police Academy.

"They go through a military police training camp," he explained. "It's not like in the past, where you want a job as a cop, here's a baton, a gun, and a uniform, and now go out on patrol, these guys are trained."

Wildwood Police Chief Robert Regalbuto also assisted the training of his seasonal officers in an interview with ABC News Monday.

"We hire a lot of officers to help us in the summer," Regalbuto said. "They may not have as much experience as some of the other guys, [but] we do our best with these officers, we do our best to train them properly.

"If there are areas where we can make improvements, we will make improvements."

Regalbuto confirmed to ABC's own WPVI-TV channel in Philadelphia that investigators are still putting together what happened before Hewitt began recording the arrest.

  PHOTO: A video made its rounds on social media, where police rammed a woman to the ground and beat her on the beach at Wildwood, New Jersey on May 26, 2018. Alexis Hewitt
A video made its rounds on social media, where police officers beat a woman to the ground and punched her in the head on the beach of Wildwood, New Jersey, on May 26, 2018.

"There's more to tell," he told WPVI-TV, adding that more information would help balance the story once the body-camera material is released. "You have to see all the videos."

The body camera material continues to be scrutinized by the Cape May District Attorney's Office and will not be released until they have completed their investigation.

"As soon as the first investigation has been completed by the Department of Internal Affairs of the Wildwood Police Department, the police video will be released to the public and a more formal statement will be made by our office," said Jeffrey H. Sutherland, the prosecutor of the Cape May in a statement.

The New York City Police Department Retired Detective and ABC News Analyst Robert Boyce rated the video of Weinman's arrest.

Boyce said he would like to see more shots before the beatings, but from the outset "it looked like excessive force" because "the subject lay on the floor with two policemen subduing them".

Police officers are trained to use sometimes "submission strikes," Boyce said, but if that's the case with the Wildwood police officer, "that's a mistake if he's actually trained that way."

"The right amount is the smallest necessary force," said Boyce.

Strikes should only be thrown "if you are attacked in a situation or someone attacks and strikes," he said.

With Weinman arrested, the video shows that she was already on the sand and that the blows could have been exaggerated.

However, according to Boyce, not every law enforcement officer can stay perfectly composed in any scenario.

"When you're in a situation, you're puffed up and adrenaline is flowing," he explained.

John Cohen, an employee of ABC News and former US Counter Terrorist Coordinator for the Department of Homeland Security, said he also saw the video of the arrest and said it was important not to judge too quickly before " all information is available. "

Any arrest, no matter how big or bad the sex is, is difficult if the person defies it, Cohen explained.

"From experience, I can tell if it's a 240-pound man or a 110-pound woman – it's very difficult to handcuff someone who does not want to be handcuffed or beat the officer ," he said.

He added that the internal investigation into how the arrest turned into a melee would reveal a number of factors, including what happened before Weinman's strike, whether the force used was justified, and whether the police were are properly trained.

"Did the officers employ a fair amount of violence in the face of the threat they faced?" He said. "They'll take a look."

ABC News & # 39; Ben Stein has contributed to this report.


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