Join Date: Apr 2006
Current Game: Defiance
Colorado Police Use Pepper Spray on 8 Year Old
DENVER – Eight-year-old Aidan Elliott had thrown a TV and chairs at his Colorado elementary school and was trying to use a cart to bust through a door to an office where teachers and other students fled for safety.
No one could calm the boy, not even the staff in a program for children with behavior problems like him. So they called police, who had intervened with Aidan twice before.
Police found him with a foot-long piece of wood trim with a knife-like point in one hand and a cardboard box in the other.
"Come get me, f-----," he said.
When they couldn't calm him down, one squirted Aidan with pepper spray. He blocked it with the cardboard box.
A second squirt hit the youngster in the side of the head, and down he went, according to an account of the Feb. 22 standoff in a police report first obtained by KUSA-TV.
Aidan and his mother went on national talk shows on Wednesday to say using pepper spray on an unruly 8-year-old was too much.
Police and officials at Glennon Heights Elementary in Lakewood, Colo., say it could've been worse.
"Had the officers chosen to be hands-on with him, the potential for him getting some type of injury and, maybe even officers, would have been much higher," police spokesman Steve Davis said.
"It was the best choice made," he said.
Aidan started acting up while on the bus to school, the police report said. He began screaming and then continued after breakfast while throwing chairs at his teachers.
"He was being very aggressive, very violent," said Melissa Reeves, the school district spokeswoman.
There were eight students with Aidan in the classroom, Reeves said, and teachers removed them after he became violent. They barricaded themselves in an office, as he tried to bust in, Davis said.
Aidan was swearing and shouting expletives at his teachers and threatening them, Davis said. He taunted police when they arrived.
"I wanted to make something sharp, like if they came out, `cause I was so mad at them," the boy said on NBC's "Today" show. "I was going to try to whack them with it."
After hitting him with the second squirt, officers took Aidan outside for some fresh air to help dissipate the spray. Paramedics were treating his red, irritated face with cool water when his mother arrived.
According to the report, Mandy Elliott asked her son what he did.
When he told her he had been hit with pepper spray, she is quoted as saying, "Well, you probably deserved it."
It wasn't the first time officers had been called to pacify Aidan, Davis said. They'd been able to talk him down in two other incidents.
On Wednesday, Mandy Elliott said she wished authorities had chosen to talk him down. She also wanted police to get special training in dealing with children. Aidan has since transferred to another school.
When asked about the pepper spray and what he did, Aidan said: "I kind of deserved it."
While it might seem a bit much to some, I'm with the police on this one. Considering this child was throwing large objects, and making threats enough that people were barricading themselves in a room to get away from him I don't see where the police had a choice. Now I will say I have been sprayed with this stuff (part of military security training) and it will definitely ruin your day, but in most instances it isn't lethal.
So, was spraying him the right thing to do? Thoughts?
"You'll find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."