Teen shoplifting suspect injured, but how?

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November 19, 2013 5:18:39 AM PST
Are the injuries to a 14-year-old's face the result of excessive force by police, or the consequence of the teen falling while fleeing?

That depends on who's answering the question.

The incident happened in Tullytown, Bucks County last week. Police say the teen, along with two other people, were caught red-handed shoplifting from the local Walmart.

Investigators say the teen was already handcuffed when he ran away on foot. The officer who chased him down later reported that he used his Taser on the teen to stop him from running across Route 13 with his hands cuffed behind his back.

Then, police say, the teen fell face-first on the sidewalk.

The boy's mother, Marissa Sargeant, disputes that account.

"His nostril was lifted off his face, was sutured back down. He was tased in his face. Both his eyes were swollen shut. He has scrapes and bruises over his whole face. So one fall did not cause that," she said.

She talked to Action News as she and her son, arrived to meet their attorney in Center City. That attorney, Fortunato Perri Jr., says he is still collecting evidence. However, the said the one thing that is clear is that Tullytown officers crossed the line.

"Just simply with the nature of the injuries that have occurred in this case I think its clear police used excessive force," Perri said.

The Tullytown Police Department sent Action News a statement about the case which read, in part, "We take these allegations very seriously and will forward the file of our investigation to Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler."

Meanwhile, Marissa Sargeant said the ordeal is far from over.

"My son is an innocent 14-year-old boy who didn't deserve what happened to him," Sargeant said. "I just hope he gets justice."

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