Society

Police, School Staff Sued for Beating, Tasering Deaf Boy

| by Michael Allen
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Audey and Judith Muschette, parents of a 12-year-old deaf boy, claim that employees of the American School for the Deaf physically abused and denied their son food, and West Hartford, Conn. police unnecessarily Tasered the child.

According to Courthouse News Service, the boy ran away from the school to a construction site where the West Hartford police Tasered him with no warning.

Now, the Muschettes are suing the city of West Hartford and the school.

The family claims a school staff member, in March, choked the boy and threw him to the ground, resulting in “significant head injuries.”

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The boy's family also says school officials refused to take the boy’s food order in April. When the boy called his family, the lawsuit claims a school staff member named Chris Hammond “maliciously and without provocation pulled the wires out of the videophone and disconnected the call.”

That's when the boy fled the school and was allegedly confronted by Hammond and other school employees at the construction site.

“Defendant Chris Hammond informed plaintiff that he was going to kill him and push him into an unsafe area of the construction site. Defendant Chris Hammond proceeded to grab plaintiff and punched plaintiff in the face with closed fists,” claims the lawsuit.

The lawsuit says the boy picked up a stick to defend himself against Hammond and other school staffers, who then left the construction site, noted Patch.com.

Later, police arrived and knew the boy was deaf, but allegedly made no effort to communicate with him and, instead, Tasered him.

The Muschettes also claim that in June, school officials made false charges against the boy for “watching and printing pornography” on school computers.

The parents are suing for damages over excessive use of force, municipal liability, violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, negligence and other claims.

However, the police report claims the boy “had attacked staff with a chair, a stick, attempted to bite staff and threw rocks at staff."

“[At the construction site, the boy] was now holding a large rock that he refused to put down… I advised staff to communicate with [the boy] via sign language to cooperate and drop the rock. [The boy] was asked two times to comply and drop the rock and he refused.”

Sources: Courthouse News Service and Patch.com