At least eight men beat two police officers, one breaking a nightstick over an officer’s head, while people in cars moved in closer to watch and jeer, a witness said.
“He was hollering and laughing and jumping up and down, dancing almost, prancing, after he hit the officer in the head,” said Joyce Kearns, a witness to the incident early New Year’s Day.
“I couldn’t believe someone doing that to another human being and then laughing and dancing around.”
Sgt. Stephan Clouse and Officer Louis Brigante were treated at a hospital and released, police said. Clouse needed 11 stitches to close a cut on his head. He also suffered from ringing in his ear, said Lt. Barbara Hauptman. Brigante suffered bumps and bruises to his head, back and ribs, she said.
One man was arrested later Wednesday when he sought medical treatment at a hospital for a cut on his head, police said. The man who Kearns said broke the nightstick over the officer’s head remained at large Thursday.
About 50 men and women were in the parking lot of a shopping center, and some of them were fighting, said Kearns, who was out late shopping. When police arrived, a police report said, Brigante tried to arrest one person for throwing a bottle at his police car, and eight or nine men jumped him.
Kearns said some in the crowd pulled their cars close, surrounding the officers and “all yelling.”
One man emerged from the crowd wielding Brigante’s nightstick, and he clubbed Clouse as he ran by, Kearns said.