Woman from viral beach arrest video indicted on 5 counts


The young woman whose violent arrest on a Wildwood beach went viral earlier this summer has been indicted on charges including two counts of aggravated assault of a police officer.

Emily Weinman was 20 on Memorial Day Weekend when a seasonal police officer tried to write her a municipal citation for underage possession of alcohol while she was sitting on the beach with unopened containers of alcohol she said belonged to her aunt. 

When she refused to give her name so he could write the summons, Patrolman Thomas Cannon took her to the ground and punched her twice in the head. Bystander video of the punches went viral.

Amid an outcry about the use of force, police released body camera video of the incident. It showed the officer telling her that she was “about to get dropped” as she backed away and put her hands up, at which point the camera ceased recording. The camera then recorded the two struggling on the ground.

Authorities also allege she spit at the officers, but her attorney, Stephen Dicht, has said she was spitting sand out of her mouth after being pinned down on her face.

On Tuesday, a Cape May County grand jury indicted Weinman, now 21, on two counts of aggravated assault on police officers and one count each of resisting arrest, throwing bodily fluids, and obstruction, according to a court official.

The viral video sparked heated debate about whether the young woman or Patrolmen Cannon and Robert Jordan — seasonal special officers hired for the busy summer season — were the ones responsible for what happened.

Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey H. Sutherland announced June 5 that the officers would not face criminal charges in relation to the arrest.

Dicht, who could not be reached for comment Monday, previously said the incident left Weinman, the mother of a toddler, with injuries and depression, and the attention made her a “prisoner in her home” in Philadelphia.

Rebecca Everett may be reached at reverett@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccajeverett. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


5 thoughts on “Woman from viral beach arrest video indicted on 5 counts

  1. This girl is lucky….

    They could have cuffed her.

    Thrown her in the back of a paddy wagon.

    Then went 4 wheeling off road until she broke her neck and died.

    Yeah… lucky..

    Lucky she wasn’t Black.

  2. No warrant shall issue except upon probable cause supported by oath….
    The pig and the whole grand jury should be shot.
    After they violate your rights in anyway there can be no assault or resisting it is self defense.

  3. What Are Seasonal NJ Cops Allowed to Do?

    Many have taken to commenting on the Wildwood Police Department’s own website, with one suggesting that the department’s mission statement should be “comply or die,” with others questioning the training of its police officers.

    In Wildwood, Class II special officers submit an application and attend formal training at the Cape May County Police Academy.

    Candidates must be at least 18, have a high school diploma and pass a background check.

    Those who attend the Winter Academy attend classes three nights a week and all day on Saturday, starting in December. Successful graduates begin patrol assignments for the Memorial Day Weekend. The Spring sessions are full-time classes that start in mid-May and conclude in early July. Successful graduates begin patrol assignments for Fourth of July weekend.

    The pay is not much. Class II officers are required to work a 40 to 48-hour work week, with a pay rate of $10.00 per hour in Wildwood, according to the city.

    Are there more complaints against seasonal officers?

    Fisher said the issues seen in the Wildwood video are not common.

    “In my experience there has not been a disproportionate number of problems involving use of force by special officers,” he said.

    Not that there aren’t complaints.

    “Demeanor and their manner of dealing with the public is the most often complaint,” he said.


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