This is sad but true. There has been another incident involving a police officer and an individual with Autism. A 16 year old Autistic boy was eating at El Pollo Loco in Fresno, California and had a seizure in the bathroom. The Fresno Police Department arrived, asked the employees to unlock the door, and arrested this kid, “To prevent him from causing harm to himself or others.” A family member evidently said, “He was combative and harming himself”. OK. Question number one. How could he be combative if he was not in control of his own body? And as for the “harming himself” part? Well any time you fall to the floor and start shaking violently and uncontrollably? Yeah, I can see that part. The teen’s mom, Lourdes Ponce, said her son started panicking and vomited. But did the police help him? No, they did not. Instead, they threw this kid to the ground and put him in handcuffs. WHAT THE HELL?! What about “serve and protect”?! Oh, and it gets better. This poor kid apparently had, apart from suffering a seizure, a fracture in his hand and bruises. The police stated that the 16 year old “will not be arrested after his hospital release”. Um…didn’t you technically already arrest him? According to Mrs. Ponce, she “hopes this is a teachable moment for police in responding to medical emergencies.” I am not getting into my job in this post. I am not here to tell any cops how to do their jobs. But what I will say is that I hope to Christ most police officers would be able to tell the difference between a medical emergency and illegal and criminal behavior. But apparently not in Fresno, California. Maybe that’s a blanket statement, insinuating all cops in Fresno are like this, but I think they need to be trained better. Not just in Fresno, but in other parts of the country, as well. Incidents like this and worse have happened in other parts of the US. So all I am saying is that maybe cops need to be trained better in the field of Autism. That’s all. I attached a link to the article, courtesy of the Washington Post. I encourage you to read it and form your own opinions. Thanks for reading!


Author: AuTom Spectrum Blog

I have Autism and am a self-advocate and public speaker. On the side I do stand-up comedy. I live in Baltimore County and have an AMAZING girlfriend

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