'I Don't Understand, Mama': Autistic 10-Year-Old Arrested Months After Kicking Teacher

Watching a parent deal with a difficult special-needs child can be heartbreaking. It can also be inspiring as you see how unconditional love can create such patience in another.

One Florida mother, however, was just put in the horrible position of having to watch her 10-year-old autistic son being arrested for what appears to be behavior caused by the condition.

Further, the incident occurred way back in November:

The boy, who has autism, is accused of battery of a school employee in Okeechobee County because he kicked a teacher last November. The offense is a third-degree felony.

His mother Luanne Haygood said her son shouldn’t have been arrested for the incident.

“It was because of his autism that spurred this incident,” Haygood told WPTV. “And he was arrested for that.”

In the video, which Haygood recorded on her cell phone, her son John Benji Haygood is heard as officers place handcuffs on his wrists.

“I don’t want to be touched. Please don’t touch me,” the boy says in the video. “I don’t know what’s going on.”

Not wanting to be touched can be a symptom of autism, according to Autism Speaks.

The sheriff’s department and prosecutors both claim they had no knowledge of the boy being autistic, but say that will be considered while deciding on any charges.

Taking legal action after an assault is hardly out of line. However, why on Earth did it take six months to take action? Why was no one informed of the child’s condition? Why wasn’t his mother simply asked to bring the child in for processing?
Of course he was confused. Of course his mother was confused. Anyone would be. This is no way to deal with such a situation, and I expect a lawyer will soon be asking for quite a settlement from the town.