(June 19, 2020) The Ocean City police officer who was recorded earlier this month punching a young man seated on a Boardwalk bench has been cleared of any procedural violations.
A video of the May 31 incident posted on Twitter showed Taylor Cimorosi, 20, of North East with his friends on the Boardwalk near 15th Street when they were approached by the police and one of the men was told to pour out an alcoholic beverage.
The man complied, but what occurred next is where Cimorosi and the officer’s account differ.
Cimorosi said his friend poured out the alcohol and some splashed onto the front tire of Lt. Frank Wrench’s patrol bicycle, angering the lieutenant.
However, a police report alleges that the male poured the liquor was poured directly on to the front tire, which prompted his arrest.
Cimorosi can be heard off camera shouting at Wrench for arresting his friend and called Wrench a dumb*** pig.
The video showed Wrench approaching Cimorosi, apparently telling him he was under arrest. At that point, Wrench placed his hands on Cimorosi’s shoulders, and Cimorosi raised his hands against Wrench’s forearms in what appeared to be an attempt to push his hands away. Wrench then punched Cimorosi and put him in a chokehold.
In his police report, Wrench said he and another officer approached Cimorosi, he from the front and the latter from behind, and that Cimorosi’s resistance to being handcuffed led to the physical strikes.
Cimorosi was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, and he was transported to a holding cell and released the next morning. Charges of resisting arrest have been dropped, according to Cimorosi’s attorney.
After the video went viral on social media, the police department conducted an internal investigation of the officer’s conduct, per the department’s use of force policy.
“Our officers are permitted to use force, per their training, to overcome exhibited resistance, however, all uses of force go through a detailed review process,” police spokeswoman Ashley Miller said. “In this instance, the arrest went through a multi-level examination by the assistant patrol commander, the division commander and the by the Office of Professional Standards.”
Miller said the review of Wrench’s actions found that the use of force was within policy.