Only On 10: Police confrontation caught on tape
A video, captured by an NBC 10 viewer shows three North Attleboro police officers confronting a man on North Washington Street, right in the middle of downtown.
A fourth officer quickly pulls up and jumps out of his car. When the man doesn't follow repeated orders to get on the ground, the officers pepper spray him, then hit him with their batons.
"He wouldn't get down on the ground, but he wasn't really fighting them. Definitely after they got him on the ground, they definitely were really excessive," said the person who captured the incident on his cell phone.
The man captured the images with his phone and asked NBC 10 not to show his face. At one point, you can see the man in the video lunge at an officer. After he's pepper sprayed, he falls to his knees.
"He wouldn't get down. They kept pepper spraying him and he wouldn't get down," the witness said. "Even when he was still on the ground, they were still hitting him." This woman also witnessed the confrontation, and asked NBC 10 not to show her face.
"I think it was very excessive. He was a big kid and stuff, but he was pepper sprayed," she said
In the video, you can hear the man refusing to put his hands behind his back, repeatedly telling officers "no."
Late Monday afternoon, North Attleboro Police released a statement on Twitter, saying a woman called 9-1-1 to report the man was strangling her. When officers arrived police said he told them "There are just two of you? You better call for back up."
Officers also say he was combative and took up a fighting stance with clenched fists. A source familiar with the man identifies him as 21-year-old Joe Perry and says he suffers from mental health problems.
NBC 10 couldn't independently confirm the man's name or condition on Monday. But several witnesses said he was yelling and even hurting himself before officers arrived.
"He came outside and started hitting his head on a dumpster, then started punching a guard rail," said the man with the cell phone images.
North Attleboro Police said the man is being held on $10,000 bail.
He's due in court on Tuesday to face felony charges for allegedly assaulting the woman, as well as charges for his confrontation with police.