Bucks woman arrested for alleged shoplifting

Posted: March 09, 2014

TULLYTOWN She made national headlines last year, alleging police brutality after officers used a Taser on her handcuffed son, 14, who fled from police and fell. The image of his bloodied face went viral.

Now, Marissa Sargeant is said to have shoplifted from the same Bucks County Walmart where her son was arrested for shoplifting and subsequently injured.

Sargeant and a relative allegedly took $100 worth of unnamed items from the store in Tullytown on Thursday and were arrested after a Walmart employee called police.

Sargeant remained in Bucks County prison on Friday, unable to post bail and facing felony theft charges because she has three prior shoplifting convictions, court records stated.

Sargeant's son, Joey Williams, was arrested outside the Walmart last fall. Sargeant said police used too much force and caused his injuries, which included a broken nose. A photo of his injured face spawned Internet headlines across the country.

Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler later cleared police of any wrongdoing. He said the officers were justified in using the Taser to prevent the boy from running handcuffed into heavy traffic and to protect the officers' safety on a busy road.

Heckler added that the boy's facial injuries were consistent with someone who suffered a Taser barb to the cheek and then "face planted" after the fall. The boy's family contends his injuries tell a different story.

Tullytown police had requested that both the FBI and the District Attorney's Office investigate the matter. Federal authorities are continuing to review the incident.

In an agreement with authorities, the teen entered a diversion program that will allow him to keep a clean record if he stays out of trouble.

Fortunato Perri Jr., a lawyer hired by the family, said Friday that he still anticipates filing a civil suit against the borough's police department, alleging excessive force. He declined to comment further.

Daniel Doyle, Tullytown's police chief, also declined to comment.


bfinley@phillynews.com

610-313-8118

@Ben_Finley

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