NBC New York
Two men say they stopped at the facility to use the bathroom, and one was shot with a stun gun after a brief encounter with security officials. New Jersey agencies are investigating. Pei-Sze Cheng reports.
Two men who stopped at the Izod Center to use the bathroom say they were improperly questioned and detained, and one said a security guard zapped him with a stun gun.
Emmanuel Moultrie and his friend Charles Fletcher were driving to a party in New Jersey from Long Island. The two urgently needed to use a bathroom so they pulled off the first exit they could and found themselves at the Izod Center in East Rutherford. A concert had ended earlier in the night and the building was still staffed.
“I asked the security guard if we could use their bathroom and he told me to park and pointed me to a door at the center,” said Moultrie.
But once inside, both men say two security guards began to question them in a combative fashion.
“They asked me what I was doing there, so I said, 'I’m trying to use the bathroom,'” said Moultrie. “'What’s in your bag?,' they asked me. I said I have juice in the bag. So I showed him my juice and the security guard called for the state trooper who was stationed inside the arena.”
Moultrie said the security guard told him he was concerned that the liquid could be an explosive and that he might be a security concern. When Moultrie tried to walk away from the guard, that’s when he said he was attacked.
“He reached down and grabbed something and then zapped me. I hit the ground and banged my head and back onto the floor and door,” said Moultrie. “It was crazy. I've never been electrocuted before."
Fletcher stood and watched the entire confrontation.
“I saw a blue light and I heard a vibration sound,” said Fletcher. “And Emmanuel immediately dropped and he hollered which caused me to go into panic.”
Not only did Moultrie say he was stunned with a stun gun, he claims a state trooper also abused him and called him racial epithets.
“I asked the trooper if I could have something for my back because it hurt and he lifted up my shirt and punched me where I was zapped and said, ‘Man up, boy!”
The New Jersey Attorney general's office says Moultrie was arrested for bringing a cooler full of alcoholic beverages onto the premises and he did not have a ticket to the concert. The office said he was charged with criminal trespass and soliciting without a permit. Moultrie received a summons and was released.
A spokesman for the Izod Center said security guards are not permitted to carry weapons and said, "None of the so-called facts in the complaint are true."
Several agencies in New Jersey are now investigating the incident. In a statement, the Attorney General’s Office said, “These are extremely egregious allegations that have been forwarded to the Office of Law Enforcement Professional Standards within the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of Professional Standards within the State Police for a thorough investigation.”
Ken Mollins, the attorney representing Moultrie and Fletcher, said if his clients were guilty of anything improper, they would have been arrested for that reason, not merely for trespassing. He also said the statement did not address the possibility that a security guard may have been carrying a stun gun against the Izod Center’s policy.
“My client wasn't stun gunned by himself,” said Mollins. “Not only can't they keep stun guns out, but they are bringing them in themselves and that creates a safety issue for anyone who comes to this facility.”
Mollins referred to an incident during the Jets game on Sunday, Sept. 11, when a fan was able to sneak a stun gun into MetLife Stadium past security and attack another fan at the game.