Minn. Transit Cop Who Beat Autistic Teen Is Fired: Report

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.
A photo of Marcus Abrams, 17, taken shortly after the incident with a St. Paul, Minn., Metro Transit officer Sept. 1.   

The St. Paul, Minn., Metro Transit officer who assaulted an autistic teen has been dismissed from his job.

According to KARE 11, Metro Transit spokesman Howie Padilla told the news station that the officer, who was on the force less than a year, did not pass the probationary period, but he did not say if the teen's accusations against the officer led to his dismissal.


Maria Caldwell told KARE 11 that on Sept. 1 her son Marcus Abrams, 17, was standing on a platform waiting for a train to go home. The teen was wearing headphones when an officer approached him. The teen claims that the officer accused him and his two friends—who had just left work at the Minnesota State Fair—if they were drunk or on drugs.

"One grabbed my arm and the other one grabbed my wrist, and I told them to get off me—I did nothing wrong," Abrams told KARE 11. "They just slammed me right on the ground. I tried to get them off me and [one officer had his] whole body on my whole face, and I couldn't breathe."

The teen reportedly suffered a seizure during the incident and was taken to the hospital. Shortly after the incident, the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP demanded that the officer be fired, KARE 11 reports.

Padilla noted that since the incident, the agency has been having officers trained to deal with citizens who may suffer from mental illness.


"[Our] general manager made it known that we were exploring any additional training that might be beneficial to our officers regarding work with identifying individuals who might be on the autistic spectrum," Padilla said. "We are currently pursuing that training."

Read more at KARE 11

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