An autistic teen's family has filed a lawsuit against New York City alleging that police beat and arrested the then-17-year-old for no reason and then, without explanation, released him.
According to the New York Post, two cops drove up and asked Troy Canales, now 18, what was he doing as he stood in front of his Bronx home.
"[Canales] was extremely scared, but told the officers that he was just 'chilling' and was not doing anything," the suit states, the New York Post reports.
"[The officers] each grabbed plaintiff's arms and forcefully threw him down on the sidewalk, smashing his head against the concrete. [The officers] kneed plaintiff in the back and punched him in the face as he screamed to his family for help," the suit reads.
"He's screaming, 'Help me, Mommy! Help me, Mommy!' " Canales' mother, Alyson Aulet-Valentine, told the New York Daily News.
Aulet-Valentine, 41, and Canales' brother rushed from the house, telling the police that Canales was autistic, but to no avail as they watched him be taken into police custody.
According to the Post, Canales was held for an hour until his mother spoke with a commanding officer who offered no explanation as to why her son was being held. The lawsuit claims that the only excuse the family was given as to why Canales was beaten and arrested was that one officer "feared for his life."
The family is seeking compensatory and punitive damages but also asked that the New York City Police Department be given guidelines on how to deal with autistic people.