PHILADELPHIA, N.Y. (AP) — New York state police are defending the actions of two troopers who placed a 5-year-old special needs student in handcuffs and shackled his feet while bringing him to a hospital for a mental evaluation.
The Watertown Daily Times reports that police said the child was restrained Wednesday because he was “out of control” and “combative” in school.
Trooper Jack Keller, a public information officer, says the boy’s behavior posed a risk to himself, students, school staff and troopers.
An official with the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services says staff tried for two hours to de-escalate the situation until police arrived.
The boy’s parents say they plan to sue the district.
Chelsea Ruiz says hospital officials determined that her son, Connor, did not need to be evaluated by a psychiatrist. She says he was just a boy throwing a tantrum.