Ocean City Today
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NJ teen says anger motivated OCPD

Trial moved to December, officers already cleared by internal affairs department
By Brian Gilliland | Nov 09, 2017
Photo by: Submitted photo Craig Schultz, 19, following the altercation with OCPD.

(Nov. 10, 2017) The New Jersey teen shown in a cellphone video being punched and kicked by a uniformed Ocean City police officer said he was struck out of anger, not disobedience, during an incident filmed during H2Oi weekend in late September.

Craig Schultz, 19, of Bellmawr, New Jersey asked for and was granted a delay in his trial in Ocean City District Court on Wednesday, citing the need to obtain legal representation. He is now due to appear on Dec. 14.

The Ocean City Police Department’s internal affairs department has cleared the officer, identified by Schultz as Sgt. Shawn Jones, of any wrongdoing in regard to the incident.

Previously, Ocean City Police Department Public Affairs Officer Lindsay Richard did not identify any of the officers seen in the video.

Schultz said following his court appearance that he was a few blocks away filming cars when he was notified one of his friends was being arrested on 57th Street around 10 p.m. on Sept. 29. He said he was asked to join them, and so he did.

According to Schultz, the friend was also in possession of the hotel room key, and it was the need for this key that caused him to approach the scene of the arrest. In trying to recover the key, he said Sgt. Jones directed him away from the scene, eventually leading to the altercation.

Sgt. Jones’ account of the incident from the report he filed generally backs up Schultz’s take on the situation.

Jones said he observed Schultz approach the arrest area, looking like he intended to walk through the scene. Stopping him, Jones said he informed Schultz that he needed to keep his distance.

Jones said Schultz told him the officer could not give him an order to remain off a public sidewalk. According to Jones, Schultz then began to incite the crowd and continue the argument.

Schultz admitted to challenging the officer about giving him an order on a public street, but said that happened after the discussion about the hotel key. Schultz said the challenge was the final straw for Jones, and that the officer then attacked him.

This led up to the videotaped confrontation, but the video begins as the officer identified as Jones is seen landing blows on Schultz’s face and head. In the video, Schultz does not appear to make any attempt to strike the officer.

In his official report, Jones described the altercation, in its entirety, as follows:

“Schultz tried to back away from me, I grabbed his shirt and when I did so, Schultz continued to back away from me. I was able to pull Schultz toward me and Sgt. Wrench and I were able to grab Schultz by his arms.

“Schultz tensed his body, he twisted away from the officers and refused to comply with the officers’ commands to give them his hands and stop resisting. After a brief struggle, Sgt. Wrench and I were able to get handcuffs on Schultz and complete the arrest.”

Schultz’s account generally backs up what Jones reports about the start of the incident.

Schultz said Jones put his hand on Schultz’s throat, which caused him to pull back and begin a struggle. Schultz said the officer began hitting him, striking him once in the forehead, which he believes hurt the officer’s hand. Schultz said the officer then began kicking him — all of which is visible in the video.

Jones was reportedly joined by Wrench as Jones informed Schultz he was under arrest.

Jones’ report identifies himself and Sgt. Frank Wrench in the report. Schultz said there was a third officer also on the scene who attempted to calm Jones down as Schultz was being subdued. He said this officer can be seen coming up from behind the grappling officer and teenager, but the video is too dark to make a positive identification.

Schultz was charged with obstructing and hindering an officer, resisting arrest and failure to obey a lawful order.

 

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