The family of a 7-year-old New York City boy is threatening to sue police for $250 million after they say cops treated him more like a hardened criminal than a third-grader.
Wilson Reyes’ family claims police hauled him out of class at Public School 114 in the Bronx, hauled him down to the police station and handcuffed him to a wall while they “interrogated” him for a total of 10 hours about a schoolyard fight over $5, according to the New York Post.
“Imagine how I felt seeing my son in handcuffs,” Reyes’ mother, Frances Mendez, told the Post. “It was horrible. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”
Reyes reportedly got into a fight with another student in December, punching him in the face, and taking the money from him, according to the New York Daily News. Cops took Reyes out of class, detained him for four hours at the school, then kept him in custody at the 44th Precinct for six hours, family attorney Jack Yankowitz said.
Yankowitz called the accusations against Reyes — including that he knocked the other boy down and left him with a bloody mouth — false. He said cops intimidated and verbally abused Reyes, calling him a “thief” and threatened to lock him away “with the big boys,” according to the Daily News.
Robbery charges against Reyes have been dropped, according to ABC News, and the NYPD — while denying the bulk of the family’s allegations — said it is investigating the incident. An NYPD spokeswoman told the Daily News the boy was held for just four hours and 40 minutes.
“While the lawyer’s claims are grossly untrue in many respects, including fabrication as to how long the child was held, the matter is nonetheless being reviewed by the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau,” Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne told ABC News in a statement.