BY TRACY PFEIFFER
ANCHOR CHRISTINA HARTMAN
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The Lakewood, Colorado, police department is on the defensive after an officer used pepper spray to subdue a suspect wielding a sharp object... in his second grade class.
ABC has more.
REPORTER, VOICEOVER: “Aiden, in a class for kids with behavior problems, became enraged, spitting, throwing chairs, even threatening teachers and students with a sharp piece of wood he held like a knife.”
AIDEN ELLIOTT: “I said, ‘I’m gonna kill you if you once you get out of that room.”
REPORTER, OFF-SCREEN: “How come you said that?”
AIDEN ELLIOTT: “Um, well I was really angry.”
Reports indicate Aiden continued with his threats even after police arrived, and was told to drop the stick twice before officers sprayed him in the eyes with two doses of mace. This was the third time police had been called to deal with the second grader.
Both the superintendent and Lakewood police have stood by the officer’s actions, and the department spokesperson has called it the -quote- “perfect choice.”
"I think the chances of injury would have gone up tremendously if we had gone hands-on with him. But other than the burning sensation of the pepper spray, which was washed off and quickly neutralized, there were no injuries to anyone."(Westword)
But a writer for the website BroBible isn’t impressed with the justification.
“...do you (A) disarm the little prick -- using the non-violent crime fighting skills you acquired at the academy ... Or (B) mess that kid up by any means necessary? ... I mean, he does weigh 82 lbs. and he is brandishing a ‘really sharp’ stick. ... Truly a banner day for crime fighters everywhere.”
...and Aiden’s mother tells the Today Show’s Meredeth Vieira, she doesn’t agree with the decision, either.
MANDY ELLIOTT: “All other times they have been able to talk to him and find out what was bothering him and calm him down. ... He is a normal eight-year-old child at home with us, when he goes to see his nan in Wyoming, when he’s at soccer, swimming, babysitters -- he’s fine. We don’t have these issues.”
Aiden’s school district is the same one where the tragic Columbine shooting happened in 1999, killing 15 people -- and an entertainment vlogger for Houston CW affiliate KIAH says, if Aiden’s mother continues to pretend his behavior is acceptable, he could be heading the same way as those shooters.
MAGGIE FLECKNOE: “I think his mother, she really is in denial, and for her to sit there and point the finger at the police officers when you have an eight-year-old son -- your second grader is telling you, ‘Hey mom, guess what? I have these issues inside of me where I wanna kill people. Like, I get so mad I wanna tear them apart.’ He is confessing this to you. Hello? Red flag. Get him into some therapy.”
Finally, a child behaviorist -- who supports the police officer’s actions -- tells Denver’s KUSA, this won’t be the last time the United States sees a story like this.
Dr. LARRY CURRY, CHILD BEHAVIORAL EXPERT: “It’s a wake up call to the school, it’s a wakeup call to parents.”
REPORTER, VOICEOVER: “Curry’s seeing a trend in young children, influenced by the Internet, TV, and video games.”
Dr. LARRY CURRY, CHILD BEHAVIORAL EXPERT: “We’re going to see more and more episodes like this, this is not just an isolated situation.”
KUSA also reports, Aiden is currently receiving professional help to deal with his anger issues and has transferred to a school specifically designed for trouble students.
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