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8-year-old autistic boy gets handcuffed by police

Published time: August 19, 2011 21:51
Edited time: August 20, 2011 01:51
Ranger  gives an engaging water safety program to several hundred first grade students at Maxwell Elementary School in Thomson (Photo by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District's)

Ranger gives an engaging water safety program to several hundred first grade students at Maxwell Elementary School in Thomson (Photo by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District's)

Since 1998, Maxwell Elementary in Denver has invited parents and families to enjoy special events and performances put on by its students.

According to Maxwell’s website, “students engage in the learning process in a challenging, supportive, fun and positive environment.” But when the mother of one child attending Maxwell arrived at the school recently, she never expected to witness the event of her own child in handcuffs.

The 8-year-old boy was learning a tough life lesson which was neither fun nor positive.

The mother, Raiko, found her son encircled by Denver Public Schools security officers and Denver Police officers after he had reportedly had an outburst while riding the bus home from school.

After the outburst the bus driver took the boy back to Maxwell Elementary and his parents were informed of the situation.

Raiko’s son had been diagnosed with autism and claims something must have trigged the outburst last May when the incident occurred.

“He’s sitting next to the window with his hands cuffed behind his back and he’s just looking at me,” Raiko told Julie Hayden, reporter with KDVR. “All the adults are standing there, and immediately I just broke down in tears.”

According to the police report, the child was out-of-control and for the safety of all the decision to cuff him was necessary. School representatives defended the officer’s actions and say the situation was handled properly.

Donald, the boy’s father, told the media the situation was humiliating and inhumane.

The boy’s mother couldn’t comprehend why the officers insisted on having her son bound after he had gained his composure, but later found out the officers had ordered a mental health hold and were going to escort the 8 year old in a police car to the Children’s Hospital.

“He just turned and looked through the back of the cop car, looking at me and I’m crying even more because there’s nothing I can do,” Raiko told the Fox affiliate in Denver.

According to the mother, law enforcement wouldn’t allow her to take her son to the Children’s Hospital, so she had to follow the officer’s vehicle.

Once they arrived, she snapped a quick photo of her son’s hands cuffed firmly behind his back as he was being accompanied into the hospital.

According to the child’s parents, this wasn’t the first time their son had been taken to professionals for treatment and the couple already began taking their child to a therapist and a primary care doctor.

On Thursday, the 8 year old started attending a new school and his parents say the lines of communication between them and the school staff are wide open.The couple says they are doing all they can to assure their son’s future special events don’t involve handcuff or police.

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