Crime

Teen sues off-duty police officer working security at Tacoma Mall, says he used stun gun on her

A 17-year-old girl has sued an off-duty Tacoma police officer she said threw her to the ground and used a stun gun on her outside the Tacoma Mall, where he was working security.

Monique Charlene Tillman says in the lawsuit, filed Friday, that she was 15 on May 24, 2014, when officer Jared Williams stopped her and her brother as they rode their bikes home through the mall parking lot.

The suit alleges:

Williams, wearing his police gear and driving a Tacoma police cruiser, drove up behind the pair, turned on the car’s emergency lights and used the horn to pull them over, without having seen them commit any crimes.

Tillman asked Williams why he stopped them, and he told her she had caused a disturbance, and because of it was being “trespassed” — meaning she was banned from the mall and could be arrested if she returned.

Tillman asked again why she had been stopped, and then moved to leave to go home. As she tried to ride off on her bike, Williams “erupted and began physically assaulting and brutalizing” her.

He tossed her “around like a child’s doll, slamming her into parked vehicles, forcibly shoving his forearm into her chest, grabbing her by the hair and body-slamming her into the pavement.”

When Tillman was on the ground, Williams used his stun gun on her.

The suit, which seeks unspecified damages, also names Simon Property Group (the Delaware company that owns and operates the mall), and Universal Protection Services, a California company hired for mall security.

Mall spokeswoman Jennifer Carroll declined to comment on the lawsuit, or to say whether Williams still worked security there.

Tillman’s attorney, Vito de la Cruz, said in a statement: “A child riding a bike should not have to worry that a police officer will stop her without legal cause and brutalize her. Our communities are weary of another African American child being hurt by unwarranted and excessive police force.”

Tacoma police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said Williams is still an officer with the department. She did not know whether he continues to work off-duty at the mall.

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268, @amkrell

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