Police Abuse

Autistic 10-Year-Old Handcuffed, Pinned to Back of Hot Police Car: Why?

Cop: "We sort of own the situation."


Moses Maldonado / WFTV

A Kissimmee, Florida, police officer handcuffed an autistic 10-year-old boy, laid him down face-first on the back of a hot squad car (at least it wasn't as hot as the pavement! was the rationale), and took him in for a psych evaluation.

This was done for the boy's own safety, of course. The boy, Ryan, had been acting out at school and threatening to harm himself. His father, Moses Maldonado, came to calm him down, but the police were already at the scene. According to WFTV:

Maldonado said the incident started when he was called to Cypress Elementary because his son, Ryan, was acting out.

Kissimmee Police Chief Lee Massie said the child was threatening to harm himself.

"Stab himself with a pair of scissors, cut off some of his fingertips," Massie said.

Maldonado said the whole situation got out of hand because he wasn't allowed to calm his son down.

"I'm his dad. I know how to deal with him. He was screaming for help and screaming for Daddy," he said.

Ryan's threats continued, and police thought it best to commit the boy for evaluation.

"We sort of own the situation, and we have to make a determination what is in the best interest of the child," Massie said.

"We" being the police, not the boy's parents. As the father told local reporters, "I am his dad, I know how to deal with him."

Police also stood by the decision to place the boy face-down on a hot police car, because what else were they supposed to do—place him face-down on the hot pavement?

Massie said they laid the child on the car was because the other option was laying the child on hot pavement.

"The other officer felt it was best to place the child on the trunk where he felt the temperature was more appropriate than the ground," Massie said.

Ryan was released two hours after the evaluation. Everybody—school officials and police officers—is pleased with how the situation was handled. Everybody, except Maldonado.

Hat tip: Betsi Fores / Rare


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  1. Hey, at least he wasn’t a little boy in Rotherham.

    1. You really don’t want to lose that bet to John, do you? 😉

      1. I want to believe!

  2. “We sort of own the situation”

    At this point the citizens listening should’ve drawn their weapons and disarmed this dangerous lunatic.

    1. Hah! What weapons? I’m willing to imagine the only armed citizen there, besides the goons with badges, was the autistic kid with scissors.

      1. willing to imagine bet


      2. I don’t know about their local laws and ordinances, but Florida is a top tier state for concealed carry. There could have been any number of armed citizens around.

  3. At least the cop didn’t beat, tase, or shoot the kid.

    1. I bet he got in a couple shots to the ribs before dad arrived. A little punishment for having to leave his cruiser on a hot afternoon.

  4. “To fuck you and unnerve.”

  5. Kissimmee? Sounds like the work of the Mouse to me.

  6. The school is just as fucked up. Why call the cops on a disabled 10 year having a tantrum?

    Never call the cops and stop believing public education is about the public or about education.

    They (the cops and the school administrators/teachers) are not going to help you! They are not there to serve you or your kids!

    1. *The school is just as fucked up. Why call the cops on a disabled 10 year having a tantrum?*

      Gee, Gladys, I dunno, because maybe he had a pair of scissors and was threatening to stab himself or someone else?

      In the real anarchist reich, you people would be the first to go.

  7. How’s that “mainstreaming” of kids with special needs working out?

    1. Do we know this kid was mainstreamed? He may have been in a full special ed classroom; the article didn’t specify.

      1. True, but the fact that the police were called indicates to me that the school was not prepared, which in turn suggests he wasn’t in a special ed situation that would be better at dealing with this sort of thing.

        1. A friend of mine has an autistic son. Mainstreaming him (at a private school, btw) worked out extremely well.

    2. uh, doesn’t that depend on the abilities of the person in question? I mean autism covers the spectrum from barely functional to fairly minor needs.

    3. It’s a terrible policy, but it makes the right people feel good.

      1. Lock up the freaks!

    4. How’s that “mainstreaming” of kids with special needs working out?

      Obviously there is enormous individual variation among children with special needs as there are different methods of “mainstreaming”. It’s not a good idea to imply that the spirit of “mainstreaming” is wrong based on one incident.

  8. I feel that the cops are unfairly getting the blame for this. Why did the school call both the father and the police? If they called the father, they should have waited for him to get there and resolve the situation. Once the police were involved they would have to do something presumably because if they let the father calm the boy down and something happened later in the day they would get in trouble. I’m assuming that most of this is about covering their ass. Also, I’m presuming that they followed a general procedure for restraining and detaining minors.

    1. Sometimes school administrators or teachers get tired of certain kids because they’re overwhelmed by the kids issues or they just don’t like the kid. Frequently they then take every opportunity to escalate situations so the kid spirals out of control. They then dump the kid into a fully inclusive special needs classroom or school, or the parents take the hint and homeschools or finds a private school or charter.

      1. this was a private school

    2. They’re unfairly getting the blame? Can you think of no other way to restrain someone than shoving them down onto a hot car?

      1. Can you think of no other way to restrain someone than shoving them down onto a hot car?

        Well, I certainly can. I’m sure you and the prior poster can as well, but this was a cop. The cop’s job is to use violence to restrain people. Because people, even 10 year old boys, need to OBEY.

        Look, in the government sphere, common sense doesn’t exist any more. There’s only policy, rules, and OBEY. The obvious solution was to get someone to shadow the kid, speaking calmly to him, making sure he doesn’t have access to anything he could use to harm himself, and wait for the dad to arrive. That would require a minuscule amount of common sense and humanity.

        1. He was probably packing a Pop-Tart.

          I’m just glad the officer safely made it home.

        2. LB, you are getting feisty lately. Sup? These cop posts getting to you? Is this the NEW LB? I like it.

          Let the anger seethe through you, draw strength from it.

      2. 1) I know that there are specific ways and protocols for how to handle (manhandle) and subdue minors and people with special needs. I’m assuming that the police followed this. If they didn’t they’re possibly vulnerable to a lawsuit and who wouldn’t sympathize with a scared autistic kid.

        2) I have no idea why they were outside. I would have assumed that this would have been handled in an administrative office. Besides that, everything is hot in Florida. I think it would be worse and scarier to be on the ground than on a car.

        3)Yes, I think the blame is unfair because the police were basically covering their asses from the moment the showed up. The school and its contradictory policies should be to blame.

        1. who wouldn’t sympathize with a scared autistic kid.

          I can tell you the cops didn’t.

        2. “If they didn’t they’re possibly vulnerable to a lawsuit ”



      3. Yes. At least when I was a kid, I remember the police used to come to the school every year and give a presentation — actually be civil towards us.

        One of the things I remember from that (and ONLY from that) was getting to see the police car. It WAS NOT A DEUCE, and I’m pretty sure it had air-conditioning. And that was in the 80s; cars and police funding have only gotten better since then.

    3. The parent must defer to the all knowing state in parent/child matters. Your okay with that as long as procedure was followed when man handling him and kidnapping him. Cover your ass and follow procedure. No additional consideration required.

      1. The parents were fighting a losing battle the instant they placed their child in a public institution and subjected him to their rules and procedures.

        1. Blame the parent. Disregard compulsory attendance that forces them to enroll him.

  9. If the police can’t document that they have seized and brought in for evaluation every child in their jurisdiction who ever threatened to hold their breath until they turned blue, there’s an obvious ADA suit here –

    They treated a self-injurious autistic kid differently than random breath-holding kids.

    Sure, the ADA is an utterly specious piece of legislation, but at this point I honestly don’t give a shit. Just burn everything down using every pretext you can find.

    1. You can’t hold your breath till you turn blue, even if you wanted to, the nervous system will force exhalation involuntarily when CO2 levels get too high in your blood. This kid was threatening to do things he was able to do.

      They’d be facing an even worse lawsuit if they stood idly by and let the kid kill himself while waiting for Father Knows Best to show up.

      1. Because taking some action is always preferable to taking no overt action no matter how misguided or inappropriate as long as the state covers its ass. Ruled by fear. Fanfuckingtastic. Perhaps parents could have the opportunity to sign waivers to protect the state if that is the overriding concern.

  10. “Everybody?school officials and police officers?is pleased with how the situation was handled. Everybody, except Maldonado.”
    And…except me.

  11. Vote Libertarian–we hate cops!

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