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ALBANY, NH — A Facebook video of a man who was eventually pulled from his car by state police near Albany Town Hall on May 20 has gone viral. State police said the man was uncooperative and they denied doing anything wrong.
The man is Jean Ronald Saint Preux, 34, of Albany. He did a video chat interview with an outlet called Freedom Media Canada. His video was also posted to worldstarhiphop.com, where it has been viewed 310,000 times.
“I felt like I was going to be another statistic,” said Saint Preux says in a YouTube video of his interview with Freedom Media Canada. “I was clean and had nothing going on and they chose to pull me over, searched my car and said my car was stolen.”
Saint Preux, who says he’s known in the valley as JR, recorded the encounter to Facebook Live with his cellphone.
Saint Preux spoke to the Sun by video conference Thursday afternoon. He said he’s lived in Albany for the past two years. He said the car belongs to his girlfriend but they both use it. He said the inspection sticker, from Portland, Maine, was good until June.
He alleges the police never asked for his license and registration and that the video shows he was prepared to give them the information.
“I would have gave it to them and no problem because I’m clean,” he said.
He said the troopers, who were wearing masks, approached him aggressively and demanded he get out of the car.
“I was afraid for my life,” said Saint Preux adding he’s been harassed by police before.
State police issued a statement shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday. They said the incident happened at about 10:25 a.m. on May 20.
They said Saint Preux was stopped for an inspection sticker violation.
“During the initial conversation, Mr. Saint Preux was informed of the reason for the stop and refused to provide his driver’s license and vehicle registration,” said the state police. “The troopers issued multiple requests for the required information over a period of time. Mr. Saint Preux still refused.
“Mr. Saint Preux was informed that he was under arrest for disobeying a police officer and ordered to exit the vehicle multiple times. Mr. Saint Preux refused and was subsequently taken into custody according to state police protocol and charged with disobeying an officer, resisting arrest and two counts of assault on an officer. The Division of State Police reviews all use of force incidents. Based on the information available to the state police at this time, the conduct of the two troopers depicted in the video appears to conform with division policy.”
Saint Preux said he pulled over at the Albany Town Hall because it would have cameras there and that made him feel safer. He said he was heading south on Route 16 and the troopers were heading north. He said he made “eye contact” with the troopers near the White Mountain Moose Lodge, which is about a mile from the town hall. He said there was some traffic on the road at the time.
Saint Preux alleged the troopers tazed him and beat him up.
A Go Fund Me Account has been set up to help pay for Saint Preux’s legal and car repair costs.
Saint Preux said he’s been working at a hotel and a retail store but has been on unemployment because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The video on Saint Preux’s Facebook page shows him sitting in the driver’s seat of his car while a female state trooper appears to be breaking his window with a baton.
The trooper repeats that he’s “under arrest” and he must get out of the car and he replies that he “didn’t do s***” and he keeps asking what he did.
A second female trooper arrives and begins to break the window. The video goes on for about 12 minutes. Eventually a trooper reaches in, and he asks her not to touch him. One grabs him by the hair or the ear and the other warms up her taser.
Albany Town Hall can be seen in the background once Preux is out of the car and standing. Much of the video is blurry from when the phone apparently fell on the ground.
Saint Preux said a trooper threw the phone in the woods.
He can be heard in the background asking to get his phone. A trooper can be heard yelling that he is under arrest for assaulting an officer and resisting arrest.
Arguing can be heard in the background of the video and a trooper can be heard saying that he hit her with the phone. A trooper can also be heard saying he didn’t identify himself when he was pulled over.
Eventually, a trooper retrieves the phone.
Preux denies assaulting the troopers.
“I didn’t even hit them or touch them,” said Preux to the Sun.
According to State Police, Saint Preux is scheduled to be arraigned in the 3rd Circuit Court in Conway on July 7.
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