ARTESIA, N.M. (KRQE) - An 11-year-old boy drew a lot of attention Wednesday morning when a police officer dropped him off at school shackled in handcuffs.
Some parents wonder if the officer escorting him went too far, but they might be surprised to know who called in the law in the first place.
Students and parents were outside Yeso Elementary School in Artesia when the police car pulled up.
"I didn't think anything was wrong until I noticed the police officer," said one witness, who did not want to be identified. "She got a little boy out of the backseat."
The witness said she and others were shocked to see the 11-year-old boy was handcuffed and being escorted into the school by the officer.
"He wasn't looking up; he was very sad," the witness recalled. "He didn't think it was a joke or anything. He was very sad.
"I felt awful. I felt angry that they were doing that to him."
But according to the police report, the boy's own mother and grandmother called police saying the child refused to go to school.
The responding officer found the boy hiding on a playground slide.
The report states the child was belligerent and refused to come down from the slide. The officer went up the slide, restrained him andthen placed him in the patrol car.
The police report quotes the mom as telling the officer to "be mean and yell ... to teach him a lesson and scare him." The mom asked the officer to take the boy to school in cuffs, according to the report.
Still, some witnesses said it wasn't right.
"It was way too far," one said. "I mean we're supposed to be good parents, encouraging our kids, be there for them, not to humiliate them in front of their peers."
The school principal told KRQE News 13 what happened was out of the school's control, and they had nothing to do with it.
School officials said they're doing their own investigation as to why the child was brought to school in that manner. They also said safety is of the utmost importance and that no student was ever in danger.
Artesia police would not comment on the matter pending an internal investigation.
Currently, Artesia police do not have a policy that addresses handcuffing juveniles or incorrigible-child calls. Police said they get calls weekly about unruly kids.
Depending on the results of the investigation, a department policy could be revised to address the issue.
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