BOSTON - A security guard has been indicted by a grand jury for allegedly punching and choking an 11-year-old girl at a Primark store.
Investigators said that, on June 9, 36-year-old Mohammad Khan pulled the girl back into the store after she tried to shoplift and leave the store at Downtown Crossing.
Khan then, according to investigators, pushed her, threw her to the ground and punched her, continuing to struggle with the girl even after police arrived.
Taffy Roberson is the girl's grandmother who says that, while she doesn't condone her granddaughter's behavior and says it's not the first time she's done this, she says the security guard's physical response was unacceptable.
"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.
Roberson believes her granddaughter learned her lesson, but says it went too far.
"She would steal candy out of the candy store but I don't know what would possess her to steal a pair of socks," said Roberson. "That was a terrible way for her to have to learn that."
Video taken by a bystander shows the struggle between the small child and the 6'1", 225 pound man.
"There were people yelling in the background, 'She's a child, she's a child, get off of her,'" said Roberson. "Her eyes were swollen her lips were swollen he blacked her eye."
Roberson says she's even more outraged to learn that Khan was under explicit orders from Securitas Services to not touch any customers after having been reprimanded four times in the past 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?"
While the alleged assault happened in June, a grand jury has recently indicted Khan on charges of assault and battery on a child under 14 and civil rights violations.
The suspect's now former employer, Securitas Services, is facing those same charges. Boston 25 News has reached out for a comment from the company but has not heard back.
The 11-year-old accused of stealing $175 worth of merchandise can not be charged based on state law because of her age.
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