Autistic boy, 7, handcuffed, held on floor by school resource officer
A school resource officer is facing a lawsuit after a 7-year-old boy with autism was reportedly handcuffed, taunted, and held on the floor for about 40 minutes.
The incident, which happened two years ago at a school in North Carolina, turned bad when the boy named LG was taken by his teacher and two assistants to a “quiet room” to calm down.
Allegedly, officer Michael Fattaleh, 38, had seen the boy spit on the ground while being taken away, before telling three staff personnel “he’s mine now”, according to the lawsuit filed by LG’s mother.
The man then forced the boy to the floor and put handcuffs on him.
Bodycam footage then shows him holding the child down for nearly 40 minutes while taunting him.
Fattaleh – who knew LG had special needs – allegedly asked the boy, “ever been charged before?” and added “If you, my friend, are not acquainted with the juvenile justice system, you will be shortly,” the court documents read.
SOME PEOPLE ARE VERY IGNORANT BUT YET THEY ARE HIRED AS SECURITY GUARDS AT SCHOOLS https://t.co/VEzYvvCTUT
— Pam #Resist (@mortgageconsult) October 13, 2020
The mother’s attorney, Alex Heroy, told the New York Post the man’s behavior was “incomprehensible”.
“How in the world would anyone think it was appropriate to handcuff, pin down and taunt a 7-year-old boy with autism? It is incomprehensible,” he said.
“His mother thought she was doing the right thing by sending him to a school where he could get extra help and attention, all for the system to fail in the worst way possible.”
During the incident, Fattaleh can be seen kneeling on the child’s back, saying “have you ever heard the term babysitter? I take that term literally, my friend,” the court papers say.
While on the floor, the child could be heard saying “Ow, my knee! My knee! It really hurts!”
After LG’s mother came to the school, he was released by another officer.
Fattaleh told the mom her boy would be charged “with one count of assault, maybe two”, the court documents say.
The child – who was brought to the hospital with bruises and scratches – was never disciplined or suspended by his school. He went back to school the day after he was sent home early after becoming “extremely anxious and agitated”, the complaint says.
LG is currently studying from home.
The mother is suing for unspecified damages.
Fattaleh was put on leave before eventually handing in his resignation.
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