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.