FBI clears Bucks police in Tasering of teen

Posted: April 13, 2014

TULLYTOWN The FBI has cleared Tullytown police of any wrongdoing for using a Taser on a handcuffed teenager who tried to run away after being arrested on shoplifting charges last year, the Police Department said this week.

The incident, which occurred in November at a Walmart store, received widespread attention after an image of the 14-year-old boy's facial injuries was widely circulated on the Internet.

The Bucks County District Attorney's Office and the FBI investigated the incident to review the department's use of force.

In December, the District Attorney's Office cleared police of any wrongdoing, with District Attorney David Heckler saying that the Taser was used to prevent Joey Williams from running onto nearby Route 13. The injuries likely occurred when Williams fell onto his face during the incident, Heckler added.

The FBI does not comment on the status of investigations, spokeswoman Carrie Adamowski said Friday. But a statement on the Tullytown Police Department's Facebook page, signed by Chief Daniel Doyle and posted Thursday, said the agency had closed its review and cleared the department.

A message left for Williams' Center City attorney was not immediately returned. The family had previously said it was considering a civil suit against the police.

Williams agreed with authorities to enter a diversion program that will wipe the shoplifting charges from his record if he stays out of trouble.

Williams' mother, Marissa Sargeant, was arrested last month for shoplifting at the same Walmart where her son was subjected to the Taser. Court records say she is still in Bucks County Prison, with a formal arraignment scheduled for later this month.

cpalmer@phillynews.com

609-217-8305

@cs_palmer

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