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Police handcuff autistic boy and force him to stay on top of squad car trunk

Lana Bandoim's picture
autism boy handcuffed

Another disturbing story has appeared from a school involving an autistic boy. The family of the Florida child reports that he was handcuffed by police and forced to stay on top of a squad car trunk in the heat. The family is angry, but both the police and school state the situation was handled according to their rules.


Ryan Maldonado attends the Cypress Elementary school in Kissimmee, and officials state he was trying to hurt himself. Police were asked to intervene because the 10-year-old was trying to cut himself with scissors. Moses Maldonado, who is Ryan’s father, was able to arrive at the school before police took his son, but he claims they prevented him from calming the situation.

Police and school staff decided that Ryan Maldonado needed a psychiatric evaluation, and the 10-year-old was handcuffed. He was taken outside, but officers felt the pavement was too hot for him, so they placed him on top of the trunk of a police car. This image has been circulating online and has been shared by many people who are concerned. However, the school and police believe they acted correctly despite the response from others.

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Ryan has autism, and his father states he could have handled the situation better without the involvement of police. The child was eventually released and allowed to go home, but the experience was traumatic. His story is part of the recent trend to take a more aggressive approach in schools against children who are misbehaving or issuing threats. Although it does not appear that Maldonado wanted to hurt others, the school decided police were needed on the scene. Parents who have children with autism are becoming more worried about these school trends, and some have turned to homeschooling.

Read more about autism:
Autistic boy locked in closet at elementary school
Head size in autism questioned by new research

Image: Social media



I understand the concerns over violence, but this is so sad.