Update: A 7-year-old interrogated for 10 hours by NYPD last month is home with his mom. However, she is threatening to sue the city and police department for handcuffing her child to a wall and detaining him like a “hardened criminal.” While the incident involves $5 and a fight, cops say the boy is no angel and they did not question the boy, 7, for 10 hours.
In a Jan. 30 report, New York Post says Wilson Reyes’ mom, Frances Mendez, is threatening to sue the City of New York and the police department for allegedly treating her juvenile son like a violent adult criminal.
A potential $250 million lawsuit involves an incident that took place at the boy’s school — PS X114 — on Dec. 4. There, police met with officials who said Wilson was involved in a fight with another kid and stole $5.
At some point, Bronx police handcuffed and interrogated the 7-year-old for 10 hours, according to legal documents by Reyes.
When the mother arrived at the police station, she was shocked to see her child seated but handcuffed to a railing.
Reyes said that officers would not allow her to see him for quite some time.
“My son was crying, ‘Mommy, it wasn’t me! Mommy, it wasn’t me!’ I never imagined the cops could do that to a child. We’re traumatized… Imagine how I felt seeing my son in handcuffs! It was horrible. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” the boy’s mom said in a recent interview.
Obviously, if her story holds true, it’s understandable why a parent would be traumatized at the sight of their child detained and handcuffed to a wall.
However, officers have a different take on the story. According to their version, the 7-year-old child was not interrogated for 10 hours.
Their sources say Wilson was questioned at the school and taken to the station for further investigation. They estimate the child was in their custody for four hours and 40 minutes. Additionally, he was treated well and even given pizza.
“This kid is no angel, even though he may look like it. 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,” an unnamed police source said.
As far as police procedures are concerned, authorities say all department rules and procedures were followed and he was handcuffed to keep him from running away.
In an update on the story, another boy admitted to taking the money and police have acknowledged the error. Still, the mom is considering legal action.
If the story about the 7-year-old interrogated for 10 hours turns out to be true, it’s not the first time NYPD has come under fire for similar behavior.