and Abraham Mitchell Jr. -- both first cousins of Williams and life-long residents of Bayonne -- told The Jersey Journal
yesterday afternoon at the site of Williams' collapse that they witnessed what happened to him in the minutes leading up to his death.
According to Baker, a police officer then approached the fight -- which in the meantime had moved into the vestibule in the building at 403 Avenue C -- and asked her what was going on just a few feet away from the fight.
, who lives across the street, said a total of five people were in the vestibule at 403 Avenue C at that time: Williams, Williams' daughter, the two girls who were attacking Williams' daughter and one other girl whose role in the fight wasn't clear.
, on the other hand, claimed Williams did not assault anyone.
Without telling the people inside the vestibule to stop fighting or warning them that he'd use pepper spray if they didn't stop, the officer took out his
pepper spray, "barged in" and sprayed everyone inside, said Baker
The Bayonne Police Department
contradicted Baker's account in a statement yesterday, noting that "the officer attempted to disperse the group using verbal commands without effect."
Niekrasz also stated yesterday that -- as a matter of police protocol -- pepper spray is only sprayed on people after a series of commands to disperse are ignored and is primarily used to avoid the use of physical force against civilians.
After the pepper spray was used, the five people in the vestibule cleared out of that space and emerged onto the sidewalk, choking and tearing up, Baker
Williams was a diabetic, had stents in his heart and was frail and sickly at the time of his collapse, Mitchell and Baker
and Rev. Mark Williams said they and other family members have hired a private investigator and a lawyer and were preparing to take legal action against the Bayonne Police Department