A black teenager was reportedly “slam dunked” to the ground as two men in uniform handcuffed him while he was buying shampoo at Superdrug, claimed his mother. In a distressing video shared by his mother on Twitter, the 15-year-old boy is being sat on by “civilian security staff” in a Superdrug in Chichester on Wednesday afternoon.
The mother claimed that she got a call from her son’s friends who told her that he was being arrested and explained the whole situation.
The friends told her that they went to the Superdrug to buy shampoo when they were followed in by the men, believed to be “rangers” from the local “business improvement district” which functions independently from local authorities.
The mother claimed that after 90 minutes of not knowing what happened to her son, she found out he was taken to Worthing Police Station and arrested on suspicion of assault, where he remains.
She told the Mirror: “They [the “rangers”] started to get aggressive towards them and one of them got into my son’s personal space and he asked if ‘can you get out of my face’.
“What I have been told is the ranger pushed him and my son pushed back.
“He was then slam dunked to the floor and sat on top of him as you see in the video and they put plastic handcuffs on him – the police then arrived and arrested my son.”
The woman said she did not hear from her son for an hour and a half.
“He’s at Worthing Police Station, but for about 90 minutes I wasn’t able to speak to him,” she said.
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“I finally got to speak to him and he is quite stressed.
“Whereas the rangers that threw him to the ground have gone home to have tea.”
He was later released at around 1.15 am on Wednesday night, tweeted his mother.
She posted: “My son is finally out of police custody at 1.15 am and heading home. Appreciate the support, it’s been an incredibly stressful day.”
Meanwhile, Chichester District Council has denied the “rangers” are employed by the council and says none of their staff were involved.
A Sussex Police spokesperson had confirmed they arrested a 15-year-old and 16-year-old boy on suspicion of assault.
They said they were called to a shop before 3.30pm following reports of a teenager involved in an altercation and say a shopworker reported being assaulted.
A police statement read: “We are aware of a video circulating on social media of a teenager being detained by civilian security staff in Chichester this afternoon (22 March).
“Police were called to the store in East Street shortly after 3.30pm to reports of a group of teenagers involved in an altercation.
“A shopworker also reported being assaulted.
“Officers attended the scene and three teenagers had been detained by civilian security staff.
“A 15-year-old boy from Worthing and a 16-year-old boy from Chichester were arrested by police on suspicion of assault.
“They remain in police custody pending urgent enquiries, supported by appropriate adults.
“Enquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances of what happened.”