Teen with autism says he was assaulted by Metro Transit Police

KARE 11 – by Adrienne Broaddus

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A St. Paul mother said Metro Transit Police mistreated her 17-year-old son.

Maria Caldwell said her son lives with autism and was assaulted Monday by police. At some point during the alleged attack, witnesses say the teen suffered a seizure.

The alleged incident happened at the University and Lexington station in St. Paul.  

635767510102569484-st-paul-teenCaldwell said her 17-year-old son, Marcus Abrams, was standing on the train tracks moments before police approached him. When they approached, the teen said he was wearing headphones and couldn’t hear everything police said. The teen said he and two other friends were traveling home after working at the Minnesota State Fair.

The teen said officers accused him of being intoxicated or using drugs.

“One grabbed my arm and the other one grabbed my wrist and I told them to get off me — I did nothing wrong,” Abrams said. “They just slammed me right on the ground. I tried to get them off me and (one officer had his) whole body on my whole face and I couldn’t breathe.”

Caldwell, whose son was transported by ambulance to Regions Hospital, said she wants officers to recognize abnormal behavior and people living with mental illness.

“I don’t want autism to be a crime, I don’t want people that have it to think that it is a crime. I don’t want people going around saying, ‘oh well if your child is this way they shouldn’t be out here by themselves,'” she said. “He was put in a situation where he was stressed out, a lot of pressure and confused. And I think that is what brought on his seizures.”

Howie Padilla with Metro Transit says the case will be reviewed to make sure “department standard policy and procedures were followed.” He also said Metro Transit officers are required to take crisis intervention training.

“One of the things we will be reviewing is what did the officer see. What were the mannerisms?” Padilla said. “Our officers, in general, are trained to control the situation and ensure not only their safety but to anyone else that is around.”

The teen is not facing any charges.


One thought on “Teen with autism says he was assaulted by Metro Transit Police

  1. “The teen said officers accused him of being intoxicated or using drugs.”

    These slugs can’t even recognize autistic traits when they see them.

    On the other hand, maybe they do. They just picked on him because there were no pregnant women to punch in the stomach, or any dogs around to shoot, and this was the WEAKEST POSSIBLE TARGET they could find.

    Come to think of it, that makes far more sense.

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