After a fourth grader with autism was arrested last week in his Florida grade school’s principal’s office, his mother says her son “didn’t know what was going on” when he was thrown in jail.
John Benjamin Haygood, 10, was handcuffed and taken from Okeechobee Achievement Academy by two uniformed cops as his stunned mom videotaped the entire scene on April 12.
In the video, her boy kept asking his mom, Luanne, what was going on.
Looking back, she said, "The fear in his voice tears me up because he had no idea what's happening.”
Luanne said the video only shows part of her son's ordeal as the nightmare continued when the officers took him to the county jail.
“He sat in an adult jail cell for hours not knowing what was going on [with] nobody with him, not knowing where I was, not knowing when he'd get fed again,” she said. “Just sitting on a metal bench against the wall in an adult prison cell.”
John is accused of repeatedly kicking, punching, and scratching a teaching assistant who was trying to restrain him. He's also accused of threatening to kill the teaching assistant.
His mom says hauling her son off to jail was way too extreme. She said there was no explanation to her son as to why he was being hauled away by cops.
“I think the school system should be ashamed — they let my child down,” she said. “I don't think handcuffs and shackles should be on a 10-year-old kid, period — with or without a disability.”
The boy is due back in court May 11.