A 10-year-old girl was put in handcuffs as she watched Middletown Police arrest a close family friend in what a police spokesperson is calling a “high-risk felony warrant.”
Kenneth Ford, 27, picked up his friend's daughter from basketball practice at Woodrow Wilson Middle School on Wednesday. He was being followed by police who were trying to serve him with an active arrest warrant.
Authorities said they followed Ford for an hour and watched him meet up with two other people. They believe the encounters were drug deals.
At about 8:45 p.m., Ford picked the girl up from school. He made a stop at the South Main Liquor Store on 714 South Main St. This is when all hell broke loose.
Ford left the car running with the fifth-grader inside. Police decided this was the perfect time to engage him. They identified themselves to Ford, and one detective even drew his gun. All the 10-year-old girl could do was scream as she watched Ford get arrested.
A detective asked the girl to step outside of the car and proceeded to put handcuffs on her. When Ford told them she was a minor, police contacted the girl’s mother to confirm her age. Once they confirmed that the child was indeed 10 years old, the officer “immediately” took the cuffs off her.
The girl’s mother, Canaa Chaney, believes the damage is already done. She picked her daughter up at the police station and was “irate” at what they had done to her child.
Lt. Heather Desmond, spokesperson for the Middletown Police, defended the officer’s actions. Desmond called it a high-risk felony warrant and noted that Ford was known to carry handguns. Desmond indicated that the girl appeared to be much older than she was.
Chaney believes her daughter could pass for 12 years old but certainly not 18.
“They watched him pick her up,” Chaney told Fox Connecticut, "so what grownup is going to basketball practice? It’s a middle school."
Cory Brinson, Chaney’s appointed lawyer, believes the police picked an inappropiate time to arrest Ford.
“They watched him pick her up from the school,” Brinson said. “They could have executed this warrant at another time, but did not and put her in harm’s way — threw her up against a car, handcuffed her, drew their guns and scared her half to death.
“It didn't have to happen like that.”