19:55 GMT, 18 November 2013
20:05 GMT, 18 November 2013
A distraught mother is calling for an investigation into the police officers who arrested her son, saying that they brutally beat him when he was resisting arrest.
Marissa Sargeant has released a picture of her 14-year-old son that shows him with a bloody nose, gashes on his forehead and cheeks and both of his eyes swollen practically shut.
‘The picture speaks a thousand words,’ Ms Sargeant said.
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Horrific: The bruises and scarring on Joseph Williams’ face leads his mother to believe that police went too far while arresting him last Tuesday
Her son, Joseph Williams, was arrested on Tuesday after he and two older relatives were caught shoplifting at a Walmart in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Police claim that after they handcuffed the boy and were going to put him in the patrol car, he ran off.
NBC 10 reports that the police officer yelled several warnings to the boy as he took off along a busy highway.
They claim that they felt compelled to use a taser to top him which they said was in an effort to protect him from the traffic on the road.
A problem occurred, however, and the
police fired the taser at the boy’s face causing him to fall on the
ground with no way of bracing himself due to his hands being cuffed.
mother, Marissa Sargeant, has posted a picture of her son with his
fresh bruises on her Facebook account along with a description of her
side of the story.
Grisly: Police say that the injuries were sustained after they accidentally tased him in the face and he fell over onto the ground because he was handcuffed and could not break his fall
‘He was handcuff but they say he resisted arrest that yall tazzed him in his face (sic),’ she wrote.
‘Not only that they took him to lower bucks hospital with out his mother consent they broke his nose n (sic) both eyes were swollen shut.
‘These prejudice cops need a rude awakening.’
Bucks County officials are standing by the officers’ actions, with district attorney David Heckler telling the Philadelphia Inquirer that the boy is the one to blame.
‘He should have stopped when police told him to,’ he told the paper.
Raising questions: Ms Sargeant says that while her son was wrong to steal from Walmart, the police response was not appropriate
‘You take off running at a full clip and someone pulls your legs out from under you, and you’re cuffed from behind, you’re going to break your fall with your face.
‘I could well believe that you’d have fairly substantial bruising, cuts and scrapes.’
The actual altercation is not the only part of the incident that has Ms Sargeant concerned, but also the police behavior after they had her son in custody.
‘They took him to the police station n (sic) told me I could not come up there but as a mother who loves her child I did Go to the station they would not let me n at all they talked to me through the door I didn’t see my son for tree days n (sic) the cops says o he’s fine we ordered him pizza really?’ she wrote in the post that has now been picked up by numerous media outlets.