NEW JERSEY (MY9NJ) - Eric Villalta and his family were at Avon by the Sea enjoying the beach and playing music. He says they were right behind the lifeguards, who did not have an issue with the volume, but one man did have problem with the music, however, according to Eric, who says the complainant brought a side order of racism.
"He approached us and told us 'I don't understand why us whites can't get along with you colored people. You're always messing things up for us,' you know. 'Why is your music so loud?'," Villalta says.
Words were exchanged. Villalta says he called the man rude, and apparently the man complained to police about the music. The family says one cop did approach them and told them that the volume of their music was fine. The mood gone sour, the Villaltas decided to leave, but it wasn't over. Villalta says police asked 'what's up with the music', which he adds hadn't been playing since they'd packed up their things.
The family says they were asked for IDs, and when they asked police why IDs were needed, they say cops moved in. Villalta says he was tackled and tightly handcuffed in front of his family and children, thrown into a patrol car and maced. He's charged with playing loud music at the beach and with resisting.
Calls to the Avon police chief were referred to the township attorney, who said that the arrest is under investigation. He couldn't say anything further. Chasing News looked into the arresting officer's names, and neither one's a full-time cop in Avon. They're both summer hires.
The family is seeking video that they say was shot on cellphone by several bystanders and witnesses to the arrest. If you have video or other information about the arrest, please contact Chasing News.