A video posted to Facebook Friday shows a Pennsylvania cop assaulting a city council candidate for recording him in a gas station parking lot.
Royal Marti, a city council candidate for Lebanon City, posted the March 31 video to the Facebook page, The Realist People of Lancaster, after the Mount Joy Borough Police Department didn’t respond to a request for an out of court settlement.
The video shows Mount Joy Borough police officer Jason Smith coming unglued about having his authority questioned by Marti , who is running for office just 30 miles away from Mount Joy Borough.
Smith can then be seen suddenly assaulting him after losing his temper.
Marti said he didn’t know why it happened, but he and his boyfriend had gone into the store to get slushes and the police were already there.
He then noticed a cop leaving the store screeching his tires, burning rubber as he left the parking lot.
When he called to report the officer’s reckless driving, which happened to be officer Smith, Smith returned minutes after Chief Maurice Williams Jr. immediately called him to inform him about the complaint.
Officer Smith arrived and began mocking Marti, calling him names and issuing threats, ordering he and his boyfriend leave the store lest they be charged with loitering.
That’s when Marti decided to use his cell phone to record, which apparently caused Smith to lose it even more.
The Mount Joy Borough Police Department and Chief Maurice M Williams claim they’ve internally disciplined officer Smith for his behavior.
But they’ve said that about Smith before.
Smith was suspended for two days without pay by the Mount Joy Borough Council on May 4 2013 for unspecified misconduct while working on duty for the Mount Joy Police Department, according to LancasterOnline.
Although city officials refused to specify exactly what the conduct was, calling it a personal matter, Bill Hall, chairman of the public safety committee, stated it concerned an incident on November 19, 2012.
Video of the most recent incident begins after Marti turned on his cellphone camera and began narrating about Smith’s behavior after Smith approached him sometime after riding with his boyfriend friend, Eugene Hostetter, on a scooter, apparently disgruntled over the call to his chief about his driving.
As Royal narrates, the pair attempts to push their scooter down the road in order to get on their way – not wanting to give the lurking officer any technical reasons to stop and place them under legal detainment.
“This is, uh, Mount Joy Borough Police Department. Uh, he’s standing out here harassing me currently at the moment.”
“Say hi to Lebanon City,” Marti says, continuing to narrate.
“Um, he called me a dickwad and said I was disorderly conducting. But, really, he’s disorderly conducting. And he doesn’t know how to conduct himself as a police officer.”
Smith visibly begins to lose it.
“If you wanna go out there and start putting on things, why don’t you start trying to tell the truth for once, huh?” an irritated Smith asks.
“I didn’t call you a dickwad. You just called me a douche bag.”
“No, you just called me a dickwad.”
“No, I did not call you a dickwad.” Smith retorts.
“Yeah . . . you did.”
“I said if you want to start up shit, I’ll take you in for disorderly conduct.” Smith threatens.
“This is how you act.”
“This is how you act.” Marti quips.
Hostetter interjects and tries to get things moving along by moving away from the scene.
“Are you ready? I’m gonna push it.”
The two don’t get far at all before officer Smith pulls a fast one, radioing in Hostetter’s plates to dispatch.
“25973–it’s gonna be on a scooter.”
Marti advises his friend he hasn’t violated any law in order for him to be legally detained, but Smith assumes detaining the pair anyway.
“I don’t even have a key,” Hostetter tells Smith.
“And it’s insured. And I’m not driving it.”
“Well, as soon as I verify that, you can be on your way,” Smith promises.
“That’s fine. I’m gonna contact a lawyer tomorrow,” Hostetter mumbles.
Marti take a few steps towards officer Smith.
“I’m just letting you know that you just said that he wasn’t allowed to. But you’re allowed to–”
Smith, suddenly enraged, steps towards Marti.
“I really don’t care what you go ahead and say that I’m allowed to do or not or whatever,” Smith says, gritting his teeth before swinging at Marti, slapping the camera out of his hand and apparently striking him.
“Did you just hit his phone?” Hostetter yells.
“He just hit me,” Marti says, walking into the store while Smith continues to threaten him.
“If you stick your phone in my face like that again–”
“He just hit me.”
“Please call the state police,” he asks the clerk, fleeing to the freezers in the rear.
“Get out of here. You’re not an employee back there,” Smith orders Marti, even though he’s not employed at the store either.
Update: we initially reported it was the store clerk telling Marti he wasn’t allowed in the freezers in the back. Although, Eugene Hostetter, who was there, tells us it was actually officer Smith.
The clerk at the store where the incident occurred is actually a friend who has been hospitable towards the pair for several years, Hostetter tells us.
Mount Joy Borough Police Chief Maurice Williams Jr., who took over the Mount Joy Borough police department in 2015 after leaving his Lieutenant positions at the Lancaster City Bureau of Police, is the second police chief in five years to decline commenting about officer Jason Smith’s behavior while on duty for the department even after seeing the video for himself.
You can visit the Mount Joy Borough police department’s Facebook page, where they list their non-emergency number as (717) 653-1650, here.
You can see the entire incident, which all takes place in under three minutes, in the video above.