Florida authorities handcuff and detain 10-year-old boy with autism


  • Photo via Luanee Haygood/Facebook
Captured in a cellphone video posted to Facebook on Wednesday, April 14, 10-year-old John Benji Haygood can be seen being led away in handcuffs by school resource deputies in Okeechobee, Florida.

Luanne Haygood, John Benji's mother, posted the video on April 12 after her autistic son was arrested at Okeechobee Achievement Academy.

The boy was kept overnight at a juvenile facility in Fort Pierce before being released into his mother's custody at a hearing on Thursday morning.

According to News Channel 5, a school incident report was filed back in November involving Haygood attacking a school employee.

The employee decided to press charges at this time, but because the boy was suspended and then homebound, the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office didn't serve his arrest warrant until Wednesday, when Haygood returned to the school to take a standardized test.

The boy is accused of battery on a school employee, which is a third-degree felony.

Haygood's mother posted on Facebook that she knew that her son had been suspended for the incident, but had no idea there was a warrant for his arrest relating to his behavior issues.

The sheriff’s office claims no one knew the child is on the autism spectrum, reports News Channel 5.

The school district also wouldn’t comment except to say that it wouldn't invite a child to any of its campuses for the sole purpose of getting arrested.

The State Attorney's Office has said that it didn't know about Haygood's special needs and will now take this into consideration as it decides how to proceed.

Haygood is scheduled to appear in court again on May 11. 

#10 year old autistic arrested #go in forFSAgetarrested #OkeechobeeArrestAcademy #justiceforJB

Posted by Luanne Haygood on Wednesday, April 12, 2017

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