Somehow, a fight between two children in the Bronx over $5 led to police being called and a 7-year-old being detained by authorities for 10 total hours. Wilson Reyes was handcuffed to a wall when his mother, Frances Mendez, arrived at the 44th Precinct to pick him up. According to Mendez, her son was crying "Mommy, it wasn’t me! Mommy, it wasn’t me!’
The New York Post, who talked to Mendez, says this ordeal was caused by a conflict over another kid's $5. The Post explains:
The money, which was supposed to be used for a school trip that never happened, had fallen on the ground in front of Wilson and two other boys, and one of them scooped it up. Wilson was falsely accused of taking it, and he scuffled with one of the kids.
Officers showed up at PS X114 on Dec. 4 at about 10:20 a.m., and handcuffed and held Wilson in a room there for four hours. They then hauled him off to the 44th Precinct station house for another six hours of interrogation and verbal abuse, according to a $250 million claim against the city and the NYPD.
Legal documents claim that another child has owned up to stealing the money. However, Mendez is understandably furious, and the family plans to sue the city for $250 million. "It’s unfathomable, what the police did. The whole thing sounds so stupid. They were interrogating him like he was a hardened criminal," says attorney Jack Yanowitz.
Another police source told both the Post and the New York Daily News that young Wilson bullied the victim. From the Daily News:
The cop source close to the incident said the 7-year-old had been bullying the victim for some time, prompting the victim’s mom to call for a meeting with teachers and the suspect’s mom. “This kid is no angel, even though he may look like it,” the source said. “We made the arrest based on the complainant aggressively complaining about what the defendant did to him. This wasn’t something where one kid runs off with another kid’s basketball. This 7-year-old attacked someone and took his money. There’s a little more to this story than it appears."
This source explains that anyone from the age of 7 to17 can be charged as a juvenile, and that the correct procedure was followed. The source adds that Reyes was fed pizza while he was detained. This could get messy, and end with the NYPD shelling out a significant amount of settlement money. It isn't the first time, and certainly won't be the last.
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