New Bedford man gets prison time for assaulting store clerk

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) – A New Bedford man has been sentenced to up to six and a half years in prison for beating a store clerk because the clerk could not understand him, according to the Bristol County District Attorney’s office.

A Fall River Superior Court judge sentenced 31-year-old Tarean Joseph this week after Joseph plead guilty to the charges of armed robbery, aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and assault to intimidate.

Prosecutors said that Joseph entered Joe’s Gas and Convenience store in New Bedford on February 4, 2014, and asked the clerk for assistance. The two men got into an argument because the clerk, who is from Palestine, did not understand Joseph clearly.

According to the District Attorney’s office, Joseph began berating the clerk for being a foreigner, at which point the clerk refused to serve him. At that point, Joseph tried to grab the tobacco he wanted to buy out of the clerk’s hands, then punched the clerk in the face.

Joseph then beat the clerk with a metal pole, fracturing several bones in the clerk’s face, before stealing lottery tickets and running away.

The clerk was treated for his injuries at the hospital and released.

Joseph turned himself in to police several days after the incident, which was caught on video.