OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – An Overland Park father is pressing charges after he says his son with Down Syndrome was slapped across the face by an employee of AMF College Lanes.
Mark Camacho is speaking out about the incident because he says this could be anyone’s son or daughter with a disability and he says no one should be subject to discrimination or assault.
Camacho’s 21-year-old son, Daniel, is an active young man living with a disability.
Despite having Down Syndrome, Daniel is an Eagle Scout, a first degree black belt and every Friday night he bowls with his Special Olympics bowling league.
“He’s a very kind and gentle young man. And he sees the good in everybody and everywhere,” Camacho said.
It’s at that bowling alley two weeks ago that Camacho says an assault took place. It started, he says, with Daniel, who has the mental capacity of a teenager, horsing around.
“He observed my son running around and being playful. And hitting people in the back of the ear like that. Like young people are prone to do,” said Camacho.
Camacho says it ended when Daniel did the same thing to an employee of the bowling alley.
“The man turned around and according to the witness and according to my son, the man turned around and smacked him in the face like that and called him stupid,” Camacho explained.
Camacho says he’s angry over what happened.
“Its tough enough in life to live with a disability, to be a parent of someone with a disability, let alone in that setting that they can become victimized quickly by someone who’s supposed to be working with them and helping them and being kind to them,” he said.
More than anything though, he says he’s concerned for anyone with a disability. A vulnerable population who is often picked on, discriminated against and unable to speak up, he says.
“I want people to know that this happened, not because it’s unique or special but because this could happen to anyone’s son or daughter who has a disability,” he said.
Camacho filed a police report with Overland Park police. He says he hopes the man is prosecuted.
AMF College Lanes referred us to their corporate office. The corporate office is not open on weekends.