A video taken by a beachgoer in Wildwood, New Jersey over the weekend shows a cop punching a 20-year-old woman during a beach arrest, allegedly for underage drinking. The video has since gone viral, and police are reportedly investigating the incident.
As first reported by NJ.com, the video was first tweeted on Saturday by Twitter user @HewittLexy. The video—captioned, “I was sleeping on the beach and I woke up to this.. i can’t believe it..”—shows at least two officers wrestling a woman on the ground. One of the officers appears to be hitting her in the head, and a voice in the background can be heard yelling, “Stop resisting!” You can also hear the woman say, “You’re not allowed to hit me and choke me like that,” and “I didn’t do anything wrong.
According to a local NBC affiliate, the woman in the video is 20-year-old Philadelphia resident Emily Weinman, who alleged in a now-private Facebook post that two officers confronted her and her friends for underage drinking on the beach and had her take a breathalyzer test. Weinman wrote that the test came back negative, but the cops still wouldn’t let her go. “Therefore 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,” she wrote, according to NBC. “The cop said, ‘I was gonna let you go but now I’ll write you up’ and he asked my name.”
Then, Weinman claimed, one of the cops tried to cuff her. “I tripped and fell and the cop tackled me to the ground and smashed my head into the sand,” she wrote. “At that point I blacked out and fought any way possible trying to get up and push him off me.”
Wildwood mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. told Philly.com that Weinman first attacked and spit on the officers, both of whom have reassigned to desk duty pending an internal investigation. “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 said.
Weinman has been charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, aggravated assault by spitting bodily fluids at a police officer, resistingarrest, disorderly conduct, obstruction, and with being a minor in possession of alcohol, according to reports.