Florida mother, Luanne Haygood, left her son in the care of a school thinking that the day would go like any other day.
Unfortunately for her, the day ended up with her 10 year old son getting sent to jail. Haygood’s son has autism.
In an autism-spurred outburst, he was accused of battery of a school employee after kicking a teacher.
This is a third-degree felony. The mother recorded video footage of his arrest on her cell phone the second she realized that the officers were putting hand cuffs on her son’s wrists.
The son is asking to not be touched (a symptom of autism) in the video, saying that he does not know what is going on. He then spent the night in a juvenile detention facility.
This is not an efficient way to deal with a child who has a learning deficiency. Haygood said that watching this happen to her son broke her heart.
From Miami Herald:
The boy, who has autism, is accused of battery of a school employee in Okeechobee County because he kicked a teacher last November. The offense is a third-degree felony. His mother Luanne Haygood said her son shouldn’t have been arrested for the incident. “It was because of his autism that spurred this incident,” Haygood told WPTV. “And he was arrested for that.” In the video, which Haygood recorded on her cell phone, her son John Benji Haygood is heard as officers place handcuffs on his wrists. “I don’t want to be touched. Please don’t touch me,” the boy says in the video. “I don’t know what’s going on.” Not wanting to be touched can be a symptom of autism, according to Autism Speaks. Haygood said watching her son be cuffed and put in a law enforcement vehicle “broke her heart.” She said the 10-year-old boy then spent the night at a juvenile facility in Fort Pierce, Florida. Although the incident took place last year, deputies said they couldn’t serve the arrest paperwork until last week. Haygood said her son had prior behavioral issues because of his autism, but said that there needs to be a different way to deal with him. “Unfortunately, instead of treating or accommodating we arrest because we don’t know what else to do,” Haygood said.