— Law & Crime (@lawcrimenews) January 29, 2018
Police in Miami arrested a 7-year-old boy after an incident allegedly involving the child, his fists, and a school teacher’s back.
Video captured by his mother’s cellphone shows the boy–who is not being named–in handcuffs after the incident. In the background she can be heard consoling her son in Spanish.
The boy’s parents reacted with incredulity and despair upon seeing the images of their son being hauled away and ducked into the back of a police cruiser.
“I feel like my heart is broken,” Mercy Álvarez, the boy’s mother, said.
His father, Rolando Fuentes, said, “I was in shock. Shock.”
According to police at the Coral Way K-8 Center, it all began on the morning of Thursday, January 25. The boy was allegedly removed from the school’s cafeteria because he was playing with his food. According to a police report the boy then “attacked the teacher by repeatedly punching her on her back, in the hallway.” And that was apparently just the start.
The boy was quickly restrained but allegedly continued to strike the teacher–this time using fists and legs. The two then fell on the ground and the student apparently kept wailing on the teacher, “grabbing her hair and pulling it towards him,” according to police.
Eventually the boy was calmed enough to be seated in the principal’s office. When police arrived, the teacher wanted to press charges, flummoxing the boy’s parents. The boy’s father said, “Says he’s a danger to society. I said, ‘What? Seven years old? A danger to society?”
His mother castigated police for the way her son was treated after the alleged attack. In comments to the Miami Herald, she said:
This is police abuse; a whim of the officer, because my son was calm when they came to look for him. The principal, the counselor, and two other people tried to prevent that action and the officer took the child anyway.
Miami-Dade Schools Police spokesman Ian Moffett issued a statement in the aftermath of the event. He said, “This action was warranted to prevent [the boy’s] erratic and violent behavior from bringing further harm to others or himself. The manner in which he was transported to the receiving facility was done in accordance with Standard Operating Procedures.”
[image via screengrab/Mercy Álvarez/Miami Herald]