Father says police slammed autistic son to ground, punched him during citation
A California father is speaking up over an incident involving his son, who he says has autism and ADHD, claiming a police officer punched the 17-year-old in the face, NBC News reports.
Adam Wolf shared a post to Facebook detailing the Wednesday incident, which he says involved a Vacaville, Calif. officer throwing his son to the ground and hitting him after the boy tried to run away. He also shared video footage captured by neighbors’ Ring doorbells.
“My son became fearful, as would any child with Autism,” Wolf wrote while describing why the boy attempted to flee.
He continued, “I am pro police, but I am not pro ABUSE! This individual and department must be held accountable for their actions. NO child, disability or not, deserves to be treated like this.”
The boy was arrested after the altercation and taken into custody for an hour before being released to his stepmother.
“I don’t believe that Preston will ever trust a police officer again,” Wolf wrote of his son.
A statement from the Vacaville Police Department said the officer was responding to a report of a possible stabbing or assault that involved a weapon in the form of a knife or a pipe when he approached Wolf’s son, who was identified as the suspect.
“The officer asked the suspect to sit down, which he did. When the police officer took out his handcuffs, the suspect actively began resisting arrest, trying to get up and run,” the release says, according to NBC News.
The Vacaville Police Department said it is looking into the incident, adding that the officer didn’t know the teenager had special needs at the time.
“We understand the video posted on social media can appear very disturbing,” acting police Chief Ian Schmutzler told NBC News.
He added, “When we receive a 911 call involving an assault with a deadly weapon and potential stabbing, we respond immediately to ensure we keep those in the vicinity safe. Our officer had a clear description of the suspect and the minor who was arrested fit this description.”
The department did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.
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