Mom outraged after son, 5, put in handcuffs, shackles at New York state school

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Chelsea Ruiz wants an investigation into why police put handcuffs and shackles on her 5-year-old son (KTRK)

Did police in New York state go too far when they handcuffed a special needs 5-year-old?

That's what the child's mother thinks after officers used the cuffs to restrain the boy, reports television station WWNY. Police say the boy, Conner, was a danger to himself and other students.

"I'm sickened by what happened," said Chelsea Ruiz, Connor's mother. "I don't understand. I can't understand for the life of me, why they felt the need to handcuff a 5-year-old."

State police say they received a 911 call from Indian River Philadelphia primary school last Wednesday. The first trooper to make it there said Conner, who was reportedly flailing his arms, biting and screaming, was surrounded by knocked over bookshelves and desks.

Teachers say he was trying to stab himself with a pencil.

Officers say using restraints was the only way to protect Connor and others at the school. Connor was then taken to Samaritan Medical Center, where he was examined and released.

Connor's mother says her son has the mental capacity of a 3-year-old and has been diagnosed with a number of mental health issues, including separation anxiety. She says he was on medication the day he was restrained.

Chelsea says it's only at Indian River where Connor has had outbursts and says she thought a plan was in place for school officials to call her if it happened again.

"He did the same thing. Same exact thing," she said. "They called me. I came to the school. He calmed down immediately,"

The school's only comment on the situation was from the superintendent. He says, quote, "We and the police did everything we could to ensure that child's safety."

Troopers say they did the right thing, too.

Chelsea Ruiz is asking for a full investigation and wants the school to provide a home teacher for Connor.
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