NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) – The North Attleborough Police Department is speaking out after a video of a violent confrontation between officers and a suspect was widely circulated on the Internet.
The department issued a press release after a video was released showing officers in a violent struggle with one man, ordering him to the ground, and hitting him with what appeared to be batons.
Officers received a domestic disturbance call Sunday from a woman claiming her ex-boyfriend was strangling her and attempting to prevent her from calling police; however, during the struggle, she was able to break away.
Minutes later, officers encountered the suspect outside the victim's home on North Washington Street. The suspect, who was much larger than either of the responding officers, police said, allegedly laughed and told them, "There are just two of you? You better call for back up."
According to police, the man was immediately combative and would not listen to officers. He refused to get on the ground despite officers' repeated requests, and at one point, he even allegedly took a fighting stance with his fists raised.
In the video, it appears the suspect pushed an officer and took a swing at another. The four officers appear to hit and use pepper spray on the suspect. After more than a minute, he finally falls to his knees. Police continue to hit him with batons, something witnesses say was over the top.
Brendan Murphy, a friend and neighbor of the suspect whom he identified as Joe Perry, told FOX 25 Perry's girlfriend had just broken up with him and he was in a "bad state of mind."
Murphy said he thought police used excessive force and did not do enough to calm the situation, just agitate it.
The suspect is currently being held on $10,000 bail and is expected to be arraigned on felony charges related to the assault on his ex-girlfriend and his subsequent interaction with police personnel.
Police acknowledged the video and said all information is being thoroughly reviewed.