It has been alleged that the teen and another boy got into a tiff and the teen picked up a piece of metal to defend himself. The other boy is supposedly unharmed but the cops were called on the autistic teen.
Trigger Warning: This story contains details of police brutality that may be disturbing to readers.
A furious father has taken to social media to share how a police officer from Vacaville, California, behaved in an unnecessarily aggressive manner with his 17-year-old autistic son. Adam Wolf shared that the officer threw his son, Preston, to the ground and punched him in the face, per NBC News.
"To All my Friends and Family, I need your help. Some of you know and some of you don't, but my 17-year-old son, Preston, has Autism and ADHD. He looks and acts younger than he is. Everyone he meets thinks he is younger than he is," shared Wolf on Facebook.
An officer was dispatched to the area around 2:30 pm for a report of a possible stabbing or assault with either a knife or a pipe. The officer found the victim of the assault, a 16-year-old boy, who had minor injuries that did not require medical attention, the department said in a press release. According to KXTL, Wolf said that the teenage boy tried to pick a fight with Preston while he was playing at a nearby creek.
“My son picked up a piece of metal or a metal pole off of the ground to defend himself, and I was told that an older gentleman intervened,” Wolf said, adding that his son went on to continue playing, unaware the cops had been called on him.
Soon enough, they found Preston, 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. In response, the officer forced the suspect to the ground and onto his stomach," the press release states.
The entire incident was recorded on a doorbell camera. In the footage, the officer is heard telling Preston to sit down. "I'm not going to tell you again, sit down," the officer says. Preston listens to him and sits down, and the officer grabs something from him and throws it away. This scares Preston who tries to run away but the officer grabs him and slams him to the ground, the video shows.
"You're going to get hurt," the officer says. "Don't make me hurt you more."
Police hits victim! VACAVILLE, Calif. (KMAX) - Autistic teen,17, reportedly punched in the face by a police officer during an altercation caught on video. Preston has had his share of bullies, was being picked on & grabbed a metal object to defend himself— Silvi Krebs (@SilvijaKrebs) April 25, 2021
" All of this was witnessed by multiple neighbors and caught on video. In the video, you can hear Preston telling the officer to "call his parents". I don't believe that Preston will ever trust a police officer again. 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," shared the distraught father.
Police claim that the teen was arrested and detained for about an hour before he was released to his stepmother. The unidentified officer was allegedly unaware that the teen has special needs, the department said in its release.
“We understand the video posted on social media can appear very disturbing,” said acting Police Chief Ian Schmutzler. “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 teen’s father is now concerned his son will never trust cops again.— 48 Hours (@48hours) April 23, 2021
“It seemed to have unfolded in a matter of 60 seconds or less,” said Preston’s father, Adam Wolf. https://t.co/KuqZ3RBHmS
An investigation into the incident is ongoing.