Society

Autistic Boy, 11, Arrested After Leaving Class In Virginia, Convicted of Felony

| by Michael Allen

Kayleb Moon-Robinson, 11, was charged with disorderly conduct by a school resource officer after he kicked a trash can at Linkhorne Middle School in Lynchburg, Virginia, in the fall of 2014.

In another incident, Moon-Robinson left class when the other children did in November 2014, but that was a violation of a rule created just for him by the school after the trash can-kicking incident.

The school's principal sent the officer to get Moon-Robinson, who is African-American and autistic.

“He grabbed me and tried to take me to the office,” Moon-Robinson told Public Radio International. “I started pushing him away. He slammed me down, and then he handcuffed me.”

An unidentified teacher claimed that the officer grabbed Moon-Robinson around the chest as the boy struggled and cursed at the officer.

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The officer filed a second disorderly conduct complaint and a felony assault charge against Moon-Robinson.

Stacey Doss, Moon-Robinson’s mom, told Public Radio International that the officer told her that he filed the felony charge because her son had fought back.

Doss rejected a plea bargain offer, and Moon-Robinson was found guilty of all the charges by a juvenile court judge. Doss plans to appeal those convictions and fears that the felony could stay on her son's record for the rest of his life.

Moon-Robinson currently attends an alternative school, but will return to court in June for sentencing.

WSET reports that the Lynchburg Police Department (LPD) "can't say much since it involves a juvenile. But they do say that when the arrest happened, LPD reviewed it and found that the officer did not violate the law, LPD policy, or procedure."

The Center For Public Integrity found that schools in Virginia refer students to the police and courts more than any other state in the U.S. Over 3,000 criminal complaints were filed against students by officers in three academic years in Chesterfield County, Virginia.

Sources: Public Radio International, WSET, Center For Public Integrity
Image Credit: Doug Kerr