This is the shocking moment a nine-year-old autistic boy was arrested and handcuffed by police at school after a playground fight with bullies. Teachers called police to Needham Elementary School in Franklin, Indiana after two members of staff had to break up the fight.
The school was put on ‘lockdown’ while the cops arrived – and the boy was later charged as a juvenile with battery. Video taken by the boy’s father shows officers handcuffing his crying son and leading him to a police car outside.
The boy was held at Johnson County Juvenile Detention Center for 20 minutes and charged as a juvenile with battery and criminal mischief. The boy’s father Ronnie Shepperd said his son was protecting himself from a bully who hit him on the playground.
He told MailOnline: ‘Watching my nine-year-old autistic son being handcuffed was very disturbing. He’s very traumatised by it.’
He added: ‘My son was being bullied by another kid and he told staff several times about it.
Nothing was done so when the kid hit him twice in four days he fought back. Since he is autistic, he went into defense mode when he got hit so he hit a teacher after she broke up the fight. But when he calmed down he said sorry to the teacher.
Explaining how the fight started, he added: ‘The second fight in four days broke out when my son was trying to kill a locust and the bully shoved him and said “stop killing that bug”.
‘So he got up and the bully punched him in the eye so the fight was on again.’
Another student told RTV6 how the fight played out.
They said: ‘The nine-year-old kid went behind [the other boy] and pushed him down and then started choking him.’ The student said that when a teacher tried to break up the fight, the boy jumped on the teacher’s back and started choking her, before another teacher stepped in.
Franklin Police Chief Tim O’Sullivan told MailOnline: ‘The student was arrested for criminal mischief to school property, battery on another student and two teachers.’
The boy’s father added: ‘He’s watched the video several times. He still talks about it. ‘He’s pretty traumatized over the whole ordeal. Any nine-year-old that’s being arrested, they don’t know what’s going on.’
The boy has since moved schools and is now ‘doing awesome,’ his father said. The charges against the boy have been dropped.
Franklin Schools Superintendent Dr David Clendining said the school principal made the right decision to call police because students’ safety was threatened.