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JSO officer beaten at Walmart is released from hospital

'This hero goes home to begin her long road to recovery," posted the Fraternal Order of Police in Jacksonville on Facebook.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville Sheriff's officer who was beaten while responding to a reported robbery last Thursday was released from the hospital with fanfare from doctors, nurses and colleagues. 

'This hero goes home to begin her long road to recovery," posted the Fraternal Order of Police in Jacksonville on Facebook

"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!!"

Last Thursday, as the police officer arrived to the Walmart on Phillips Highway, she saw a theft suspect walking away from the area, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

As they were speaking, JSO says the suspect, who was identified as 40-year-old Joseph Merrill, hit her in the face and knocked her to the ground. Merill then got on top of her and hit her until a second officer approached, according to JSO. 

Merill then attempted to run off but was arrested after a short pursuit. When he ran off, he dropped a blue duffle bag with stolen merchandise on the side of the roadway, police said. 

The merchandise was worth $176.45, according to the incident report. 

JSO says the officer was rushed to the hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Merrill has been charged with attempted murder, depriving an officer of means of communication, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and resisting an officer with violence.

The name of the officer has not been released due to Marsy’s Law.

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