News

Lebanon Council candidate roughed up by Mount Joy cop

Written by Brandie Kessler/York Daily Record | May 22, 2017 7:16 AM
Royal-Marti.jpg

Royal Marti is running for Lebanon City Council in the Democratic Primary. (Photo: Submitted)

(Mount Joy) -- A Mount Joy Borough Police officer was disciplined after an altercation with a 21-year-old Lebanon City man that was captured on video.

Royal Marti said he and his boyfriend, Christopher Hostetter, were at a Mount Joy convenience store on March 31 when the incident occurred.

Marti, reached by phone Friday, said he was the person holding the camera when the officer reached out and slapped the phone from his hand and slapped him in the face.

Marti said he posted the video to YouTube on Thursday, more than a month after the incident, because the police department didn't respond to his request for a settlement.

"Me and my lawyer discussed having Mount Joy Borough settle out of court," Marti said. 

Marti said he and his lawyer were looking for a "cash amount," and he emphasized that neither charges nor a lawsuit had been filed as of Friday.

Mount Joy Borough Police Chief Maurice Williams Jr. said Friday that he couldn't discuss the specifics of the case because of potential litigation.

Williams said he had seen the video that was posted to YouTube the day that the incident occurred.

The incident happened between 2 and 3 a.m. on March 31, and "I became aware of it when I got to work at 7 a.m.," Williams said. The Mount Joy mayor had been sent the video by the person who took it, Williams said. And as soon as Williams had viewed the video, he said, he started an investigation. That investigation is closed, Williams said, and no further action is expected to be taken by the police department.

He said neither the officer -- Jason A. Smith -- nor the police union would be available to comment.

"My officers are to not make any statements to anyone," Williams said.

In a written statement, Williams also said, "The Borough and the Mount Joy Borough Police Department have dedicated themselves to addressing the concerns of the Mount Joy Borough community and delivering first class public safety services. Efforts in this area include the provision of ongoing training to its police officers to ensure that the rights of the public are always respected."

Mount Joy Borough Manager Samuel Sulkosky said the "multifaceted disciplinary action" taken against Smith included some stipulation that needed to be completed before Smith could return to full duty. He said the mayor, borough council and the police department were all aware of the action taken, and it was discussed during an executive session at a borough council meeting.

Chief Williams also reviewed surveillance video from the convenience store, and interviewed witnesses to the incident as part of his investigation, Sulkosky said. He said he had not seen any of the video himself, but the YouTube video seemed to depict the series of events he'd been told about.

Marti said he didn't know why the incident occurred. He and his boyfriend went to the convenience store to get slushies and police officers were there when they arrived.

He watched as an officer from a department outside of Mount Joy "squealed" his tires as he left the parking lot. Marti said he called to report that, and the officers returned when he was on the phone with a supervisor.

The police were mocking Marti, he said, and told him and his boyfriend that they needed to leave or they would be in trouble for loitering. Marti said Officer Smith called him a name and that's when he decided to start recording on his cellphone.

Marti, who will be on the ballot for Lebanon City Council in November, said he doesn't know if Smith took issue with him because he is gay or latino, but he noted those two things in the title of the YouTube video. He said that would get more hits on the video, and he wanted Mount Joy Borough Police to see that people would be interested in watching what happened.

This story is part of a partnership between WITF and the York Daily Record.

Published in News

Tagged under , , , , , , , , , , ,

back to top

Give Now

Estate Planning

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Smart Talk

National Edward R. Murrow Awards

DuPont Columbia Awards

Support Local Journalism

Latest News from NPR

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »