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Tasered woman's uncle tells her story
NASHUA - The Chinese woman tasered by police in front of the Pheasant Lane Mall Apple store intended to pick up eight iPhones, which she had paid for online, according to a relative.
Nashua police have determined there was no misconduct on the part of arresting officers.
Dave Chen said his niece, Xiao Jie Li Li, 44, of Newton, Mass. had traveled to Nashua to buy the phones days after she bought two other iPhones, and was kicked out of the store for filming customers.
Police said she was carrying over $16,000 in cash when she was arrested for trespassing, and tasered while resisting arrest.
Dave Chen is Li's uncle. He said she is from Shanghai, and aside from her two daughters he's her only family in the area.
Chen picked Li up from the police station following her arrest at noon on Tuesday.
He said she wasn't aware that she was tasered, and only realized it when she saw TV broadcasts of the incident.
"Her brain went totally blank," said Chen, who owns Thousand Crane II restaurant in Nashua. "She didn't understand what happened."
"She's never been treated like this," he said Thursday. "She feels so ashamed. It's a nightmare for the rest of her life."
Shoppers at the Pheasant Lane Mall videotaped the incident, in which Officers John Murphy and Joseph Rousseau struggled to arrest Li. According to police, 15 minutes passed from the time she was asked to leave the store and when the taser was used.
A worker at the Invisible Shield Kiosk, which sits directly across from the Apple store, said it's common for people to purchase large quantities of Apple products in tax-free New Hampshire and resell them at a profit.
"These re-sellers are known to buy out hundreds of thousands, if not millions worth of dollars in Apple merchandise," the man said. "It is the sole reason as to why they have police details in the Apple store to begin with."
Dave Chen said there's nothing illegal about purchasing iPhones.
Asked why Li was carrying $16,000, Chen said he couldn't speak for his niece.
But after picking her up at the police station, he said he drove to the mall with Li and attempted to get the phones himself and was denied.
Chen said it is common for Chinese and Taiwanese to buy Apple products for family members, especially the iPhone, which is being released in China on Friday.
"The iPhone 5 is not on the market in China yet," he said. "Now a lot of people have money, and they want to get a brand new iPhone 5, so if they know any friends in this country they will wire the money asking to get as many iPhones as they can to send back to China."
Li has retained a lawyer to defend her against the misdemeanor charges of trespassing and resisting arrest, for which she is scheduled to appear in court in January.
Chen said she could pursue other legal avenues once the charges are resolved.
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Simon Rios may be reached at email@example.com.
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