SEABROOK, N.H. (CBS) — Disturbing video has emerged on YouTube showing a police officer throwing a teenager against a wall at the Seabrook Police Department following an arrest.
“The chief and I were both made aware of it when it was put onto YouTube yesterday,” said Seabrook Town Manager William Manzi III. “And the chief tells me he had no knowledge of the existence of the tape.”
After being thrown against the wall, the young man fell to the ground, was pepper sprayed, and would struggle to get up and walk.
The incident happened four years ago, but was just posted online by the 19-year-old himself, identified as Michael Bergeron, Jr.
According to police reports obtained by WBZ-TV, Bergeron had been arrested for drunk driving and possession of drugs.
The officers had trouble with him from the start, saying the aggressive teen was yelling and swearing, kicking the police cruiser, not listening to orders, and even stuffed his shirt down the toilet.
“He was on something,” Seabrook Deputy Police Chief Michael Gallagher told WBZ-TV. “That doesn’t excuse any improper behavior on the part of the officers.”
At Bergeron’s home, a man who answered the door said Bergeron was not interested in talking to the media yet. But he did have plenty to say online, writing he has brain injuries from the incident and that the video is just surfacing now because his lawyer disappeared with the tape for two years.
“We take it very seriously, it will be a real investigation,” said Manzi. “And it will be a thorough investigation. The results will lead us where the results lead us.”
The three officers seen in the video are on paid administrative lead while the investigation takes place.
The police chief is leading the investigation, but Manzi said outside authorities may be brought in.