CLAIRTON (KDKA) — Laid up in a hospital bed, 17-year-old Merceedez Wright says she’s still in pain after what took place outside of a Clairton ice cream shop Tuesday night.
“I was terrified. I thought I was going to be beaten up for hours,” Wright said. “It felt like hours because no one could really like do nothing for me.”
It was 10 p.m. when Wright and her friends were approached by the Clairton Police telling them to go home because they were in violation of the city’s curfew.
Wright says she and her friends started walking away, but returned to pick up a purse and cell phone that had been left behind. Officers reportedly put her friend in a cruiser, and Wright says she tried to walk away, but was stopped by an officer.
Bryon Clifford, who witnessed the incident, said, “She kept walking. He got out, started chasing her, and once I seen her running around the corner about five seconds later, I hear her screaming at the top of her lungs.”
Wright says she admits that she ran from police saying she was scared by the way the officer got out of the car.
“They both just tackled me to the ground and smushed my face into the ground, and their feet and legs, and they start pulling my hair, pushing me and stuff,” Wright added.
Wright says while on the ground she fought back trying to protect herself.
She was taken to Children’s Hospital for treatment.
“It was basically a diagnosis that she had some type of air pocket between her lungs,” Audelia Amoah, Wright’s mom said. “I guess from when the police pounded on her.”
Wright’s mom says she respects the law, but questions why things had to go this far.
“I understand the police have their job to do. They just were too excessive,” Amoah said. “I don’t think that curfew is great of a violation that someone needs assaulted.”
KDKA reached out to the Clairton Police Department to gain their version of the events that unfolded. We were told the chief wasn’t in and didn’t hear back from any other officer after leaving contact information and details about the story.