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US 5-year-old handcuffed, shackled for ‘just being a boy’

6 May 2015 16:28


The parents of a five-year-old boy in Philadelphia vow to take legal action after their son was handcuffed and shackled by police.

Connor Ruiz’s parents said they would sue the Indian River Central School District in Philadelphia over the incident, American blog Gawker reported on Monday.

Last Wednesday morning, police forces were called into a classroom at Philadelphia Primary School, where the “out of control” and “combative” five-year-old was “screaming, kicking, punching, and biting”, police said.

The school staff had reportedly spent two hours trying to calm the kid by use of “nonviolent crisis intervention”.

The two troopers at the scene – a the special needs class — initially handcuffed the intractable child and later shackled him after taking him to their vehicle “because he was attempting to kick and be physically combative.”

The kid’s parents were then notified that their son was being held at a medical center as he “posed a risk to himself, students, school staff, and troopers.”

The boy, however, turned out not to be in need of seeing a psychiatrist as “he was just being a boy and threw a tantrum”, a doctor told his mother, Chelsea.

“An officer told me they had to handcuff his wrists and ankles for their safety,” Chelsea Ruiz, 25, told the Daily Times. “I told him that was ridiculous. How could someone fear for their safety when it comes to a small, 5-year-old child? He said that he understood because he had four children of his own.”

Diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder Connor had started in the special needs class at Philadelphia Primary two weeks earlier.

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