Police handcuff 16-year-old boy with autism while he was having seizures, mother says

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A California woman says that instead of helping her 16-year-old autistic son when he was having a series of seizures, Fresno police hit and handcuffed him while the family was at a fast food restaurant.

A California woman says that instead of helping her 16-year-old autistic son when he was having a series of seizures, Fresno police hit and handcuffed him while the family was at a fast food restaurant.

A California woman says that instead of helping her 16-year-old autistic son when he was having a series of seizures, Fresno police hit and handcuffed him while the family was at a fast food restaurant.

Lourdes Ponce said her son — who has epilepsy and autism, according to his family — started having seizures while he was in the restaurant bathroom Thursday. She wrote about the incident in a Facebook post.

Family members called 911 after they tried to help the boy but couldn’t get the bathroom door open. Though she had requested medical help, eight police officers showed up, Ponce said.

“The police didn’t help David. Instead, he was hit,” the boy’s sister, Montserrat Ramos,said. “We had explained what his medical problems were, but they didn’t understand.”

The officers thought he was on drugs, Ponce wrote in her post, which included a video that shows an officer holding the teenager from behind.

Another video shows officers trying to place the boy into the back of a patrol car, and a woman screaming, “He’s sick, take him to the hospital.”

The videos provided by the family don’t show the officers hitting the boy.

In a statement to KFSN, the Fresno Police Department said: “This case is currently under Administrative Review. The review will include the examination of all the information pertaining to the officer’s contact including Body Worn Cameras.”

CNN has reached out to the police department for more details.

In a video posted by Ramos on Facebook, the boy is kneeling beside the police car, handcuffed. As his sister tries to calm him, he begs for the handcuffs to be removed, saying they hurt.

“He is only 16 years old; the only mistake he made was having a seizure,” Ramos told CNN. Her brother has had seizures since he was 5, she said.

Ponce told KFSN that it was only after she showed police paperwork documenting her son’s history of epilepsy that EMS was dispatched to take him to the hospital.

Ramos said her brother left the hospital Saturday, but he had to go back Sunday and is now back at home.

His recovery has been difficult and “he’s not doing well,” his sister said.

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