A video surfaced this weekend which depicted West New York police officers arresting Dante Joa, a supporter of West New York Mayor Felix Roque in the upcoming May 14 municipal election.
Joa is a founding professor at American Training School for Medical Professionals on Bergenline Avenue.
The video depicted three police officers arresting Joa in front of his training school. In the video, a Roque re-election sign was standing in the middle of the sidewalk, and music seemed to be coming from a loudspeaker in the school directed out to the street.
In the video Joa appeared to be handing out pro-Roque fliers before he was approached by the three officers.
In the two-minute video, officers used force to place him under arrest after a brief verbal altercation. The video showed the exchange quickly escalateing to a physical scuffle, and Joa was taken down by officers. The video showed that he was cuffed while lying face down in the entry to the training school.
An officer, whose shirt tag read “P.O. A. Garcia,” told those filming the incident to step back.
“This is something with an investigation, and you’re in our space, get back,” the officer said.
The video then cut off.
West New York Police Director Robert Antolos responded to the incident that was filmed.
“Saturday the West New York Police Department responded to a complaint of [alleged] loud music at 53 Bergenline Ave.,” Antolos said. “The officers met with the caller who directed them to a local business that [allegedly] had loud music playing. The officers met the owner and advised we had a complaint about the loud music.”
Antolos accused Joa of allegedly resisting arrest after allegedly failing to cooperate with the responding officers.
“The owner was asked politely to lower the music a few times and he [allegedly] refused,” Antolos said. “They [the responding officers] informed him he was going to be issued a violation and asked for identification which he [allegedly] refused to provide. The officers at this point deemed him to be uncooperative and proceeded to place him under arrest. The subject then [allegedly] resisted the officers in effecting the arrest.”
Antolos said that Joa was processed at police headquarters, where he was taken after his arrest.
“His identification was confirmed and it revealed he had an active arrest warrant out of West New York,” Antolos said. “He was charged on the outstanding traffic warrant and resisting arrest along with obstruction with the administration of the law.”
According to Antolos, the arrest is being reviewed by the internal affairs department of the West New York Police Department.
No reason was given for the alleged playing of the loud music.
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