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BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Bladen County dad is upset after he says his autistic son was taken out of class and put into a sheriff deputy’s car.

Patrick Beatty says he was in the hospital recovering from a fall Wednesday when he got a surprising call from his son.

“He said his brother Dylan had been brought home with the sheriff’s car,” Beatty said.

Dylan Beatty, 17, who is autistic, has trouble communicating and speaks mostly through signs. Dylan could not tell his father if he was handcuffed, and his older son did not see if he was when the deputy dropped him off, but Beatty says Dylan showed him the best way he knew how.

“Dylan had been grasping his wrists, rubbing his wrists, and I could see some places on his wrists where it looked like something had been on his wrists, and I took it to be handcuffs,” Beatty said.

Beatty says teachers told him Dylan was trying to grab a girl in a wheelchair to play with her a little too aggressively. Instead of separating the two, he says the teachers took Dylan to the office to be sent home.

School district spokeswoman Valerie Newton says this is normal procedure when a student starts to behave aggressively.

“For the safety of the other students and the teachers and staff in the classroom, that student was escorted out of the classroom,” Newton said.

When Beatty did not immediately answer his phone to come pick up his son, the school resource officer took Dylan home. But Beatty says that is not a good reason.

“That doesn’t give you an excuse to handcuff my son and bring him home. He is autistic. He doesn’t know what’s going on,” Beatty said.

Beatty says East Bladen High’s principal apologized to him and says it will not happen again. We spoke with the principal today, but he did not want to do an interview.

We also contacted the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office for more information, but we never heard back.

Comment on this Story

  • MySonisAutistic

    The schools around here have no clue as to how to deal with autistic boys. Or autism in general.

  • Mechanic

    Probably true, but officials cannot allow students to assault others just because “they don’t know what they are doing”. You can sugar coat it all you like by saying he/she has a problem and does not understand, but injuries to others are very real and must be prevented.

  • eddie



    +1 Society cannot allow your child’s disability to affect others.

  • Denise bradshaw

    Well said!

  • eddie

    We have a son who has gone through the school system here in Pender the word INCOMPETENCE does nit even fit these fools, Other parents who have no clue need to stay out of it. They need to change the whole damn system but it is more important that we try and win a football championship. Anyone from Pender want to meet and debate with me ? I doubt it

  • Why is he in a public school? He cannot get his individual needs met there anyway. I have two autistic nephews and I cannot imagine them in public schools.

  • Guest7777

    Why is he in public school anyway??? What kind of question is that? There are many ranges of autism, from severe to high functioning…my son has autism, was mainstreamed in NHC School systems, graduated high school with honors, works part time and drives. I’m so glad he didn’t let his disability define him. Every child is different and has different needs, very true. In my case structure, caring teachers & public schools worked great!

  • AsBlue2

    When transporting someone that has already shown signs of aggression, it is for the officers safety to apply handcuffs. This does not mean that someone has been placed under arrest, it is simply for the safety of both parties involved. Not all patrol cars have cages. Would you rather the aggressive party have free rein to choke the driver out as he driving and cause harm to both parties and other drivers? It’s a possibility.

  • eddie

    What can be done is the school system can have well trained educators, not these so called ones they have now. Pender school system has no one and I mean no one who is any good at what they do, again open for a debateif anyone in Pender is brave enough, again I doubt it. They are a bunch of morons


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