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Mom Says Teen Joseph Williams 'Brutally Tortured' By Cops, DA Says He Fell Escaping Shoplifting Arrest

Calling a grisly Facebook photo of her battered son “misinformation,” police in Tullytown., Penn., are saying that mom Marissa Sargent has it all wrong when she charges that they “brutally tortured” 14-year-old Joseph Williams.

Sargent posted the photo of her son, Williams, on Friday (pictured at right). The original post is here.

The youth was arrested for shoplifting at a local Walmart earlier in the week. Sargent says that though what her son did was wrong — she says he was forced into it by a 19-year-old relative, who was also arrested — he didn’t deserve the beating that she claims police administered to him.

The cops and the Bucks County District Attorney deny the whole thing. They say that Williams ran away, even though his hands were still cuffed behind his back. They feared for his safety as he sprinted along a busy street, so when he kept running after orders to stop, they Tasered him.

The stun gun blast hit him in the face and Williams fell face first on the pavement, according to the police version.

“Why does he have scrapes and bruises all over his whole face, everywhere?” asks Sargent, who scoffs at the police version. “Why is his nose broken? Why is his nostril lifted off his face? Why is both of his eyes black and swollen?”

But D.A. David Heckler says it all adds up.

“You take off running at a full clip and someone pulls your legs out from under you, and you’re cuffed from behind, you’re going to break your fall with your face,” Heckler told the Philadelphia Daily News. “I could well believe that you’d have fairly substantial bruising, cuts and scrapes.”

“That doesn’t sound right,” said Sargent. “There’s no way, if he was running from behind, that he would get hit with a Taser in the front of his face.”

According to Sargent’s account, the cops took her son to Lower Bucks Hospital and then a juvenile jail without allowing her to him.

“I’m left with a child who’s going to be physically damaged for the rest of his life,” Sargent said, adding that her son has refused to leave the house, humiliated by his gruesome appearance.

Tullytown Police Chief Dan Doyle says an investigation is underway. Heckler expects eyewitness accounts and possibly police dashboard camera footage, which has not yet surfaced, to back up the official version of the story.

As of Monday morning, Sargent’s Facebook photo had been shared more than 49,000 times.

Sources:, NBC 10 Philadelphia, Facebook


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