A security guard at a Boston clothing store was arraigned Tuesday for allegedly assaulting an 11-year-old girl he caught shoplifting.
Mohammad Khan, 36, pleaded not guilty Tuesday. Both Khan and his employer, Securitas Services, were charged with assault and battery on a child under 14.
The accusations stem from an incident at the Primark store in Downtown Crossing. According to court records, a CCTV operator alerted Khan that he should stop an 11-year-old girl as she left the store. Khan approached her and things quickly escalated from words to fighting.
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"A struggle ensued, and within moments, Khan grabbed the young lady by the head and neck region and forcefully threw her to the ground," said Teniola Adeyemi, an assistant district attorney for Suffolk County.
Much of the interaction was captured on cellphone, which appears to show Khan wrestling with the girl on the floor.
"She was flailing and striking Khan," Adeyemi described in court. "Almost simultaneously, at that point, Khan punched her in the face."
According to prosecutors, this was not Khan's first incident at Primark. Court records stated that between March and May of this year, Khan "was given four warnings for ignoring orders or using more force than permitted" by his employer.
NBC10 Boston reached out to Securitas for comment about the incident, but did not receive a response. However, the company's attorney said the decision to charge the corporation itself was unusual.
"It's a very rare thing. It happens maybe once every few years, but there is law that allows for it, but whether it applies in this case remains to be seen," said attorney Paul Kelly.
Khan was released on personal recognizance.