WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. — On an early May morning in 2009, after the State Police had searched through the night trying to find two burglary suspects in Warren County, they stopped a car James Bayliss, then 21, was riding in and asked him to step outside so he could be searched.
What happened next was captured by a dashboard video camera inside a State Police patrol car. The recording, which never before has been made public, was recently obtained by The Star-Ledger. It shows Bayliss standing against the car as Staff Sgt. Richard Wambold Jr. frisks him. A few seconds later, after what appears to be a slight movement, the video shows Wambold throw Bayliss to the ground, kneel and punch him several times in the face.
On Friday, after being told The Star-Ledger was planning to publish this story and make the video public on nj.com, the State Police announced for the first time that two troopers involved in the incident used unreasonable force. Wambold said in his report on the incident in Mansfield Township that Bayliss did several things to provoke a forceful response. While seated in his car, Bayliss repeatedly failed to heed instructions, hid his hands and stared menacingly at troopers, Wambold said.