New Bedford Man Sentenced for Assaulting Store Clerk
A 31-year-old New Bedford man, who violently attacked a convenience store clerk simply because the clerk could not understand what the man was saying, was sentenced to serve up to six-and-a-half years in state prison earlier this week in Fall River Superior Court, District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.
Tarean Joseph pleaded guilty this week to a multi-count indictment, charging him with armed robbery, aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and assault to intimidate.
On February 4, 2014, the defendant entered Joe’s Gas and Convenience store in New Bedford. The defendant asked the clerk for Scooby Snack tobacco. The clerk, who is from Palestine, did not understand the quantity the defendant was asking for. The defendant became upset, yelling at the clerk about being from a foreign country and not understanding the English language. The clerk refused to sell to the defendant, which made the defendant more irate.
The defendant leaned over the counter and tried to snatch the tobacco out of the clerk’s hands without success. The defendant then reached over the counter and punched the clerk in the face. The defendant then went behind the counter and grabbed a metal pole and began striking the clerk. The clerk suffered fractures to three facial bones including his orbital bone. After the beating, the defendant stole two lottery tickets and fled the scene. The entire incident was captured on video surveillance from inside the store.
The defendant is originally from New York, where he has convictions for firearms, drugs and assaults.
During the plea hearing before Judge E. Susan Garsh, Co-First Assistant District Attorney Karen O'Sullivan argued that based on the brutality of the attack, the defendant's previous criminal history and the intolerant nature of the crime, the defendant should serve seven to ten years in state prison. The defendant requested a more lenient five year prison term.
Judge Garsh eventually sentenced the defendant to serve five to six-and-a-half years in state prison.
''This is an extremely violent assault on a clerk who merely had difficulty understanding what the Defendant was saying," District Attorney Quinn said. ''The Defendant has a history of violence from the State of New York and deserves to be confined from society from a long period of time.''
--Bristol County District Attorney's Office