225-pound security guard charged for choking, punching and slamming 11-year-old girl for shoplifting at a Boston Primark
The security guard has been identified as Mohammad Khan, 36, who pulled the girl back as she was leaving the store after shoplifting
A shocking video from a Boston Primark store showed a 225 pound, 6-foot tall security guard tackling an 11-year-old after she stole a pair of socks from the store. The security guard has been identified as Mohammad Khan, 36, who is employed by Securitas Security Services USA Inc and the girl has been identified as Leeajah Williams. Khan has since been charged with assault and battery on a child under 14 and civil rights violations.
The Boston 25 News reported that Khan did not let go of the child even after the Boston Police responded. In the incident that took place on June 9, Williams stole merchandise worth $175 from a Downtown Crossing store and was walking out when Khan pulled her back. The investigators say he pushed her to the ground and proceeded to punch her.
Taffy Roberson, the child's grandmother said that she doesn't approve of what her granddaughter had done but the excessive use of force was not "cool". "That wasn’t cool on an 11-year-old child, that wasn’t right what she did but no man should be putting their hands on an 11-year-old," said Roberson, adding that the struggle had resulted in the child having swollen lips and a black eye.
"There were people yelling in the background, 'She’s a child, she’s a child, get off of her'," said Roberson. She also said that her granddaughter had shoplifted before.
Securitas told Khan not to touch customers even when they were caught shoplifting. He had been reprimanded four times earlier for using excessive force. "Wow, how long has he been working there getting away with this?" said Roberson. "Has there been any other children or anyone who he’s done that to?" said Roberson. They have also been charged along with Khan.
According to the Boston Globe, he also allegedly punched her on the face as he was straddling her. WCVB reported that Sherrice Williams, the girl's mother, said she was emotionally scarred. He allegedly grabbed her by the neck before throwing her on the ground.
"She stole a pack of socks, was walking out the door and a guy grabbed her and threw her against the wall -- the security," Williams said. "She was screaming, 'Get off of me!' She didn't know who he was because he wasn't dressed in (any) type (of security) clothing, so she thought he was just a random man grabbing her."
District Attorney Rachael Rollins in a statement that the Boston police were "exemplary in de-escalating the situation when they arrived and the other Securitas employees in the store behaved appropriately during the encounter. Being a Special Police Officer allows someone the power of arrest, but with that power comes great responsibility. I applaud the vast majority of Boston Police officers and SPOs who behave professionally and with restraint."
Prosecutors said they couldn't charge the 11-year-old because of her age. Khan is scheduled to be arraigned December 17 in Suffolk Superior Court.