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Teen With Epilepsy Arrested When Emergency Services Send Cops Instead Of Ambulance

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 02 Feb 2020 18:23
Teen With Epilepsy Arrested When Emergency Services Send Cops Instead Of AmbulanceTeen With Epilepsy Arrested When Emergency Services Send Cops Instead Of AmbulanceABC 30 Action News

A teenager with epilepsy was arrested by mistake when emergency services sent the police instead of an ambulance after the boys sister rang 911 for medical help. 

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The 16-year-old had suffered an epileptic seizure at a fast food restaurant in California causing him to collapse while in the toilet.

The boys mother, Lourdes Ponce, then told her daughter to call 911. When the police arrived they handcuffed the teen.

Teen With Epilepsy Arrested When Emergency Services Send Cops Instead Of AmbulanceTeen With Epilepsy Arrested When Emergency Services Send Cops Instead Of AmbulanceABC 30 Action News

In the video of the incident, Ponce told police her son was both autistic and epileptic and asked them to stop arresting him.

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Talking to ABC 30 Action News, the she said: 

I stood outside the door, I heard him hit the floor, I tried to open the door but it was locked, that’s when I asked for help.

We called paramedics for help, we did not call police. He was not hurting anybody, he was having a seizure.

Despite trying to explain the situation to the police officers, they continued to manhandle the teenager causing him to panic and began vomiting; they then tried to get the boy into the back of their patrol car.

Teen With Epilepsy Arrested When Emergency Services Send Cops Instead Of AmbulanceTeen With Epilepsy Arrested When Emergency Services Send Cops Instead Of AmbulanceABC 30 Action News

Ponce added:

He [the officer] saw that my son was throwing up and instead of helping him so that he wouldn’t choke on his vomit, they had him on the ground in handcuffs.

After I showed the paperwork, EMS was able to treat him and take him to the hospital.

The boy had been to the doctors that very day about his seizures and the three of them then went to fast food restaurant El Pollo Loco for something to eat afterwards.

Teen With Epilepsy Arrested When Emergency Services Send Cops Instead Of AmbulanceTeen With Epilepsy Arrested When Emergency Services Send Cops Instead Of AmbulanceABC 30 Action News
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After presenting the paperwork to the officers, the 16-year-old was finally taken to hospital to be treated and his mother said he was so traumatised by what happened to him that he is having a hard time receiving treatment from hospital staff.

The police visited the hospital where the boy was at with a ‘certificate of release’ form meaning he would not be arrested.

Teen With Epilepsy Arrested When Emergency Services Send Cops Instead Of AmbulanceTeen With Epilepsy Arrested When Emergency Services Send Cops Instead Of AmbulanceABC 30 Action News

Following the mix up, Frenso police have issued a statement to Action News.

It said:

This case is currently under Administrative Review. The review will include the examination of all the information pertaining to the officer’s contact including Body Worn Cameras.

While the teenage boy is said to make a full recovery, it is unknown when he will be released from Valley Children’s Hospital in Fresno, California.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Health, Arrest, Autism, California, El Pollo Loco, epilepsy, Frenso Police, Police

Credits

ABC 30 Action News
  1. ABC 30 Action News

    Fresno Police handcuffed, arrested 16-year-old boy with autism after he had seizure, mom says