NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, Mass. (CBS/AP) — The North Attleborough Police Department is under scrutiny after amateur video caught four officers violently subduing a man who allegedly assaulted his girlfriend.

The department said in a statement the arrest Sunday is under review but defended the use of force on a suspect being belligerent.

Police say Joe Perry at first laughed at responding officers and said “There are just two of you? You better call for back up.”

The man raised his fists in a fighting stance and appears to take a swing at officers.

Police used pepper spray on him, but at least one officer continued striking him with a baton after he was down.

The man who took the video and the suspect’s friend questioned whether officers used excessive force.

In court Tuesday, prosecutors say Perry tried to kill his girlfriend when she told him she wanted to break up with him.

A Department of Mental Health worker told the judge, Perry has a history of mental illness.

He’s charged with assault with intent to murder.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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