Mayor strongly defends Wildwood police after beach incident
WILDWOOD, N.J. (AP) — A Philadelphia woman seen on video being punched in the head by a police officer on a New Jersey beach said Tuesday she didn’t spit at the officers before the weekend altercation. The mayor of the beach town meanwhile vehemently defended the police and said the woman is no angel.
An attorney for 20-year-old Emily Weinman of Philadelphia told Philly.com the charges against Weinman are exaggerated. Wildwood, New Jersey Mayor Ernie Troiano defended the police Tuesday, noting Weinman was “by far the aggressor here” and pointing out that women can be harder to subdue than men.
“We’re not dealing with an angel here. She chose to take on the police. The police did their job,” said Troiano, who added he’s a former bouncer and doorman. ”(Women) can be hard to control. They’re kicking. They don’t care.”
Troiano told Philly.com that Weinman “chose to attack the officer, spit on the officer.”
“Look I don’t care who you are and what you are, the worst people (to try to subdue) are women,” he said.
Weinman told the reporter in a Facebook message that she was spitting sand out of her mouth after being knocked to the ground, not spitting at the officers. She’s facing two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest and other charges, according to Wildwood police.
Stephen Dicht, Weinman’s attorney, called the mayor’s comments “irresponsible.” He said he was appalled by the number of people who had posted that Weinman “got what she deserved.”
The video filmed by another beachgoer Saturday and posted to social media shows two officers trying to subdue Weinman, with one officer hitting her in the head twice with a closed fist. The beachgoer said she woke up to the altercation and began filming. The video does not show what led to it.
Troiano said the officers’ body camera footage will show a different story, including the woman’s spitting at the officers and kicking one in the groin.
The officers have been reassigned to administrative duty during the investigation.