An irate father has condemned a police officer for throwing his autistic child to the ground and punching him in the face. The father, Adam Wolf, complained that the unidentified cop approached his 17-year-old autistic child, Preston Wolf, and then slammed him to the ground before hitting him severally on his face. Wolf released video footage of the incident as captured by a neighbor’s security camera.
The incident happened in Vacaville, California.
In the footage, the policeman is seen coming close to Preston who is standing close to the road. The boy then sits on the curb as the police approach. The cop kicks the kid’s scooter away and then tries to run away when the officer attempts to handcuff him. The officer wrestles him to the ground and proceeds to hit him in the face.
Wolf said his autistic child who also has ADHD was confused and scared when the police officer approached him and instinctively wanted to run away, NBC News reports.
“My son became fearful, as would any child with autism,” he stated. “The officer went to touch Preston, at which point Preston moves away. At this point, Preston was confused and afraid and moves away from the officer even more. At that point, the officer felt it was a good idea to THROW Preston to the ground. Once on the ground, the officer climbed on top of Preston and PUNCHED him in the face.”
Acting police Chief Ian Schmutzler said the unnamed officer did not know that the boy was autistic. He said Preston had been involved in a fight with another 16-year-old boy before the police arrived at the scene. He said Preston had taken a metal pipe to defend himself, but the other boy called the police and described Preston in detail. Schmutzler said the officer had no way of knowing that Preston was autistic but that he will investigate the incident thoroughly.
“We understand the video posted on social media can appear very disturbing,” Schmutzler said. “I want to assure you that I do NOT take this circumstance lightly and that I am dedicated to doing all I can to ensure accountability and transparency as we examine ALL aspects of this incident.”