DUCHESNE, Utah, July 25, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — The family of a Duchesne County boy with autism is filing an excessive-force lawsuit against the sheriff’s office after they say a deputy threw the 13-year-old to the ground and put him in handcuffs.
The encounter happened in April when the boy took his hamster out for a walk near his home. When someone called 911 to report suspicious activity, Sgt. Carl Reilley responded and talked to the teen, who appears confused on body camera footage released Tuesday on the Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.
The body cam footage ends when the officer turned his camera off, reportedly believing he was turning it on. The recording continues, using dash cam footage.
Reilley told investigators the teen was trying to run away when he stopped the boy by throwing him to the grass, then applying cuffs.
It was only when a second officer arrived, sensed the teen’s disability, and asked if he had autism that Reilley became more gentle with his suspect, and offered to take him home. The recording also shows Reilley’s talk with the teen’s mother, which did not reveal all the details of what happened.
Attorney Tyler Ayres, who is representing the family, said the boy cannot be seen on camera trying to flee. Ayres has told reporters the teen was terrified. The family’s civil suit seeks financial damages and more training for officers, he said.
The sheriff’s office post says a review panel found Reilley’s use of force was justified, and additional training to help officers better relate to disabled community members was scheduled prior to the lawsuit being filed.
“I am unable to say more about the case at this time due to the pending litigation,” the Facebook post says.