When I was in third grade, a girl in my class stole my lunch money from my backpack. She was caught red-handed with my little Velcro dolphin wallet in her possession. She claimed it was hers, but I was wise enough, at that young age, to scrawl my name in thick black marker on the back. And I was the only “Sunny” in the class, so there was no doubt. The pint-size petty thief had to stay inside with the teacher at recess, and I think maybe her parents were alerted, but that was about it. But that was a long, long time ago, I guess they do things differently these days. When a kid is suspected of stealing, he can end up bring handcuffed, taken to a police station and held for ten hours. At least that is what allegedly happened to seven-year-old Wilson Reyes of the Bronx.
According to the New York Post, the police were called to Wilson Reyes’ school when he was reportedly accused of taking five dollars and a bit of chaos ensued. The New York Post’s states, “the money, which was supposed to be used for a school trip that never happened, had fallen on the ground in front of Wilson and two other boys, and one of them scooped it up. Wilson was falsely accused of taking it, and he scuffled with one of the kids.” After the altercation, the police were called, the boy was reportedly handcuffed, taken to the police station and then interrogated for hours.
“My son was crying, Mommy, it wasn’t me! Mommy, it wasn’t me!’” his mother Frances Mendez said when she arrived at the police station. “I never imagined the cops could do that to a child. We’re traumatized.” The boy’s mother then took a photo of her son as he sat handcuffed, the photo that was used by the New York Post (see above).
“Imagine how I felt seeing my son in handcuffs!” she said. “It was horrible. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.” And how horrible was it? Frances Mendez and family are suing the police department. But the police have another story. They stated that the charges from the family are, “grossly untrue in many respects, including fabrication as to how long the child was held in the precinct which was less than half of the time mentioned.” But still even half that time, with the handcuffed and escalated level of the case, it doesn’t seem worth doing for an issue of $5 and 7-year-olds.
Do you think that this is a waste of the New York City’s resources? Don’t they have real criminals to go after?
Photo Source: New York Post