Officers will not be charged after teen Tasered in Tullytown

Click to watch the report from Action News
December 12, 2013 3:31:53 PM PST
The officers who used a Taser on a teenage shoplifting suspect in Tullytown, Bucks County last month will not be charged with police misconduct.

Shortly after the November 12th arrest of her son, Marissa Sargeant posted photos of 14-year-old Joey Williams on social media questioning the conduct of the Tullytown officers who took him into custody, given the extent of the teen's facial injuries.

The police chief asked the district attorney to investigate, and on Thursday, DA David Heckler announced he could find no evidence police did anything wrong.

"He fled while handcuffed behind. His injuries were caused - we are satisfied - entirely by his fall which was the result of his being Tased," Heckler said.

At a news conference Thursday afternoon, the Bucks County district attorney said witnesses have supported the officers' description of last month's arrest.

The D.A. said witnesses never saw anything other than a single officer chasing the suspect and Tasering him and that the action was justified because the boy was fleeing into heavy traffic, putting both himself and officers at risk.

In addition, prosecutors say the teen himself never claimed that he was beaten by police.

"The child himself maintained that nobody had hit him or done anything else to him and said instead that his injuries had resulted from the fall," Heckler said

Because of this, charges will not be filed against any Tullytown Police officers.

Prosecutors will continue to pursue juvenile charges of shoplifting and escape.

The incident happened back on November 12th.

Police say Williams and an adult relative were pursued by police after a shoplifting incident at the Walmart at the Levittown Shopping Center.

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 and suffered extensive facial injuries.

In an interview with Action News in November the boy's mother, Marissa Sargeant, disputed 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 back in November.

The boy's mother was at the courthouse today and she maintains there was more to this arrest.

"I wasn't there and neither was the DA, but it's no doubt in our mind, and medical results we're starting to get, suggest that those injuries were a lot more serious and related to something else," family spokesman Greg Brinkley said.

An attorney for the family says he is doing his own investigation that will prove the use of excessive force.

Joey Williams still faces criminal proceedings in juvenile court. He is charged with shoplifting and escape.


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