PLAINFIELD, NJ - Officers from the Plainfield Police Division responded to a report of a disorderly person at a business in the 100 block of Watchung Avenue on Thursday around 10:50 a.m.
According to a press release from Plainfield Police, officers observed a customer actively involved in a dispute inside the establishment with an employee upon their arrival.
When the customer observed the police presence, he hastily walked out of the business. Officers advised the person to stop walking and he continued to walk away. Officers attempted to safely detain the customer, according to the release, but the customer became extremely irate. After several failed attempts in gaining compliance, the customer was informed that he was being placed under arrest for Obstruction of the Administration of the Law.
Leon Brown, a 49 year-old Dunellen resident, immediately became more enraged, according to the press release, and was taken to the ground. Brown continuously failed to comply with officers, would not place his hands behind his back and his hands remained concealed underneath the center of his body.
A Plainfield Police Officer made attempts to pry his hands away from his body, but all attempts were unsuccessful. Per the release, it was unclear if Brown was in possession of any weapons as he continued to not comply with putting his hands behind his back as instructed.
The officer then used a level of force and sprayed Mr. Brown with two short burst of Oleoresin Capsicum (OC spray). Brown still failed to comply with officers orders and did not put his hands behind his back.
The officers then used the next level of force, according to the release, and briefly struck Brown four times in his lower right side with a closed fist in an attempt to stun him to get his hands away from his body so they could be secured. After the fourth strike, combined with an officer kneeling on him, Brown then complied and was successfully placed under arrest.
Upon arrival at the Plainfield Police Division, Brown was treated by medics due to his exposure to the spray but refused further medical treatment as he did not sustain any other injuries.
Brown was subsequently charged with Obstruction of the Administration of the Law (2c:29-1) and Resisting Arrest (2C:29-2). Accordingly, a use of Force report and all officer body camera footage will be filed with the Union County Prosecutors Office for their review.