Brunswick Police Chief Carl DeForest released a statement Monday afternoon on Facebook in support of a sergeant’s actions with a city resident during an investigation of a neighborhood theft.
DeForest’s statement came in response to a video posted Friday on YouTube by a Brunswick resident.
Two different videos were posted on YouTube by a user who goes by Ginger Mama. One is a three-minute video of a discussion between Sgt. Jon Page and the woman. Another is a nine-minute video that shows edited footage of the conversation.
The film shows interaction between the woman and Page along with photographs of her, her car, her children and her house. The second video contains voice-over commentary describing her account of the interaction with Page.
The Gazette was unable to determine the woman’s identity and DeForest could not be reached Monday to elaborate on his statement.
In his one-page statement, DeForest’s said Page was responding to a theft report that had been filed concerning a lawnmower.
The statement said that while “checking the area for the stolen lawn mower, a witness or evidence that may be of value in the investigation, Sergeant Page drove by a residence where the front door was wide open and a vehicle in the driveway with the doors open.” The time of day was not referenced.
After driving past the residence “twice in a 3-4 minute time frame while looking for leads on the theft, … he (Page) noticed a head in the vehicle” and “found several children inside the vehicle with the engine running.”
According to the woman in the nine-minute video, she was gathering last-minute items before a trip to the zoo and saw a police officer walking across her lawn. She noted that “there’s always a sense of panic” and immediately thought “what did I do wrong?” as he approached her house.
As of late Monday afternoon, the three-minute video had more than 2,900 views and 50 comments and the nine-minute video had more than 1,065 views and 42 comments.
At 1:08 in the three-minute video, Page tells the woman: “Ma’am, I’m not telling you you’re in trouble or you’re facing a crime. I’m just telling you it appeared suspicious so I checked on it.”
Page repeatedly told the woman she was not in trouble, that he was conducting a welfare check and wanted identification to prove that the “kids were all right” and “the vehicle is OK.”
The woman repeatedly told Page she was grabbing snacks for a day at the Rainforest at the Cleveland Zoo.
The shorter video cuts off just as she gives the officer her name as Page writes down the information. The longer video also does not identify the woman by name.
DeForest’s statement said Page was at the residence “for a legitimate law enforcement purpose” and the interaction between Page and the woman would have lasted “perhaps 1-2 minutes” if an identification and explanation had been provided.