CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - It's the ultimate indignation. Getting spit at by another human being. But that's what happened repeatedly to Cleveland safety forces during a recent arrest. As you'll see in this police body cam video, the officers and paramedics used extreme restraint, under some very trying circumstances.
The early morning of Jan. 19, when Cleveland police and EMS arrived at the southeast corner of Prospect and Ontario, they found an intoxicated Matthew Wenzler, passed out drunk on the sidewalk.
When Wenzler awakens, he grows increasingly hostile and combative shouting obscenities and resisting their help.
But it wasn't just profanities that Wenzler was hurling at the medics and officers.
According to a police report, Wenzler continued his combative ways during his ambulance ride to Lutheran Hospital.
His spitting, posing a potential health threat to police and EMS.
Wenzler continued to spit blood and phlegm even with a spit sock over his head.
"It's nasty what people do to us," says Cleveland Police Patrolman President Jeff Follmer after watching the video with our investigative team.
"We have to act professional and these officers did a great job trying to de-escalate them," says Follmer.
Cleveland police officers were recently trained to defuse situations like this - a requirement under the Department of Justice's Cleveland consent decree.
Follmer says these officers went by the book.
"When you talk about the new program about de-escalating that is the perfect example of them taking their time working through this, working with this individual without applying force right off the bat. They were very patient and tried to de-escalate as much as possible," praised Follmer.
Matthew Wenzler remains in Cuyahoga County jail on a $5,000 bond.
He'll be back in court next week, facing four counts of Harassment by Inmate.
We've reached out to his Wenzler's attorney for comment on the video.