JSO officer assaulted by man accused of shoplifting at Walmart goes home to finish recovery

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville police officer who was assaulted at a Walmart Superstore on Philips Highway was released from the hospital after several days of recovery.

The Fraternal Order of Police Jacksonville posted a video of the officer leaving the hospital while other officers clapped.

“This hero goes home to begin her long road to recovery. It is our duty and privilege as her Blue Family to welcome her out and wish her well. We thank JFRD, FHP, and UF Health for helping us give this officer the sendoff she deserves. Jacksonville, continue to keep her and her family in your prayers!!,” FOP said in a post.

The Sheriff’s Office said due to Marsy’s Law, police are unable to identify the officer.

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The officer responded to reported shoplifting Thursday when Joseph Merrill knocked her down and started beating her, police said. Another detective intervened and restrained him.

The officer was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

Merill was arrested and charged with attempted murder of a police officer. He is being held on an $810,000 bond and is expected back in court next month.