Mom who accused cops busted for shoplifting

Posted: March 11, 2014

MARISSA SARGEANT is starting to look more like a bad example than a protective mother.

In November, Sargeant publicly accused Tullytown Borough police of "brutally" assaulting her son, Joey Williams, 14, after he was arrested on shoplifting charges at the Walmart on Route 13. She posted photos of his swollen face on Facebook. They went viral, with supporters comparing it to the Rodney King beating.

Now, three months after the Bucks County District Attorney's Office cleared the officers of wrongdoing, Sargeant is in prison on felony charges that she shoplifted from the same Walmart, police said.

It's not the first time she's been pinched.

"Heaven help this poor kid," District Attorney David Heckler said last night.

Sargeant, 32, was arrested Thursday and charged with felony theft charges because she has several prior shoplifting convictions, police said.

Heckler called it another sad development for Sargeant, who he said saw an "opportunity to profiteer" last year with photos of her son's face. He said his office's investigation, which relied on eyewitnesses and video from police car cameras, found that Williams fell on his face. A police officer appropriately shot Williams with a stun gun as he ran toward heavy traffic in handcuffs, he said.

"I hate to be glib about it, but he just took your classic face-plant," Heckler said. "If you want to sue, you can find some type of argument to make, but there is no question in our minds that police did the right thing."

Sargeant, who lives with her son in Levittown, has been unable to post bail, according to online court records.

"The kid was, in a sense, acting like a kid. I was sorry to see all of the attention brought to him," Heckler said. "He's just a part of the family. We'll hope for the best for him. I think she'll be in jail for a while."

On Twitter: @wbender99


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