Cuffed Child

Frances Mendez isn’t pleased about the treatment her 7-year-old son received on December 4th at the hands of New York’s finest, that she filed a $250 million dollar claim against the city and the NYPD. Frances’ son, Wilson, was accused of playground robbery. Allegedly, he bullied a boy into giving up $5 that was supposed to be used for a field trip.

According to the New York Post, the money fell to ground and someone swiped it. The fingers pointed to Wilson, even though he denied it. Four days later, instead of being dragged into the principal’s office, the 7-year-old was detained in an empty classroom for four hours, before being taken into custody at the 44th Precinct station. Wilson was then charged with robbery.  Frances stated by the time she arrived to the precinct she wasn’t allowed to see her son, but when she finally saw him, he was handcuffed to a wall.

Court documents state, “Reyes was handcuffed and verbally, physically and emotionally abused, intimidated, humiliated, embarrassed and defamed.”  “My son was crying, ‘Mommy, it wasn’t me! Mommy, it wasn’t me!’ I never imagined the cops could do that to a child. We’re traumatized,” Frances Mendez told The New York Post.

But not everyone believes Wilson is just an innocent victim. Wilson apparently has a history of bullying Seth Acevedo. Seth’s father, Santiago Acevedo, says his son has always been a target by Wilson and other students.  “They were always teasing him because of his weight. Sometimes he didn’t even want to go to school because of it,” Santiago Acevedo, 63, told The Post.

“Wilson was the worst bully,” said Seth, 9, in an interview Wednesday with the Daily News. “He would call me names. He would punch and kick me. I wish they never took the cuffs off of him.”

The NYPD stands by their claim that the incident was handled like all other incidents involving minors:

We responded to a 911 call of a robbery and assault … Eventually, [Wilson] was taken back to the precinct and placed in the juvenile room … He was charged with robbery. The allegation was that he punched the kid and took his money. He took the money forcibly. The kid came into the precinct a little bit after 3 p.m., and he was out by 7:45 p.m … That’s standard for a juvenile arrest.

Although the charges were eventually dropped, and another student admitted to the theft, the Mendez’s attorney, Jack Yankowitz, still isn’t pleased with the incident. “It’s unfathomable, what the police did. The whole thing sounds so stupid. They were interrogating him like he was a hardened criminal,” Yankowitz said. “If you have a child, a nephew, can you even imagine this happening to them?”

Do you think this treatment was extreme for a 7-year-old? Or was he just a bully that got taught a lesson?

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