Wilson Reyes got into a playground fight like most boys do. A $5 (€3,69) bill was also involved and went missing in the scuffle. School staff called the police when the dispute turned violent, and Reyes, who is just 7, ended up spending 10 hours in handcuffs.
All the time, he kept telling the officers that he hadn’t taken the money, his mother recalls for the New York Post.
“My son was crying, ‘Mommy, it wasn’t me! Mommy, it wasn’t me!’ I never imagined the cops could do that to a child. We’re traumatized,” Frances Mendez says.
Apparently, the fight broke on the school grounds, with police conducting half of the interrogation on the boy in one of the classrooms.
He was then taken to the 44th Precinct station, where he spent another 6 hours in interrogation (while being “verbally abused,” says his mom) and where he was found by his concerned relatives cuffed to the wall.
Mrs. Reyes is now suing the city and the NYPD for $250 million (€184.6 million) for the way they treated her child.
“He was charged with robbery. The allegation was that he punched the kid and took his money. He took the money forcibly. The kid came into the precinct a little bit after 3 p.m., and he was out by 7:45 p.m. That’s standard for a juvenile arrest,” an NYPD spokesperson says.
After the incident, Wilson was cleared of the charge after a classmate admitted to stealing the money.