The arrest and holding of 7-year-old Wilson Reyes has made headlines. Reports depict photos of a small boy sitting in a chair, handcuffed to the wall while he waits for his parents to rescue him from the NYPD precinct. But one family is coming forward with another story of little Reyes, one that suggests the boy who was “falsely accused” of stealing and spent time being questioned by police isn’t the innocent he claims to be.
Seth Acevedo is 9 years old, and has known Reyes from the beginning of the school year. While earlier reports suggested that Reyes was falsey accused of stealing $5 from Seth, the 9-year-old tells a different story.
“Wilson was the worst bully,” Seth told the News. “He would call me names. He would punch and kick me. I wish they never took the cuffs off of him.”
The Reyes family claims that their son spent 6 hours at the NYPD precinct under false pretenses — and is suing the precinct for $250 million — after being accused of stealing money from another kid at school, and getting in a fight. According toThe New York Post, Reyes was minding his own business when a $5 bill fell on the ground in front of Wilson and two other kids. One of the other boys picked up the money, and a scuffle broke out amongst the boys after Wilson was falsely accused of taking it.
“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,” Wilson Reyes’ distraught mom, Frances Mendez says of finding her son hours later at the police station.
The Post calls the arrest a “bizarre overreaction,” noting that police officers arrived at the school, handcuffed Wilson, and held him in a room for hours before hauling him off to the station for “six hours of interrogation and verbal abuse.”
Now, the little boy who is missing his $5 is coming forward with another, very different story. Acevedo, standing with his mother, recounts months of being bullied by Reyes. According to Acevedo, he was robbed.
“Wilson ran up to me with another boy… and they both stuck their hands in my pocket,” the 9-year-old victim said. “Wilson stole the money and… punched me in the face.” According to police sources, Wilson punched Acevedo as 9-year-old accomplice Javonne McLeod grabbed the money from the victim’s pocket.
According to Seth, Wilson “wanted to fight,” but Seth told the 7-year-old that he didn’t want to fight. Acevedo recounted, “And that’s when he punched me in the face.”
Ramos recalled how her crying son returned home that afternoon: “He said, ‘Mommy, I just got robbed.’ ”
Janet Ramos, Seth’s mother, calls Wilson a “a terror,” a boy who “has been bullying my son since school started.”
“He’s violent and he needs to be restrained,” Ramos, 38, reported. “He punches my son. One time he kicked (Seth) in the stomach…. He has a temper, and has no respect for authority.”
Ramos said she has contacted school officials several times about Wilson’s behavior.
Despite the accusations, Reyes’ attorney insists that his small client was the true victim in the case.
“The child did absolutely nothing wrong,” Jack Yankowitz said. “He did not take any money from any child…. The arrest was a complete violation of his civil rights, of his human rights.”
The Reyes family is suing the city, claiming physical, emotional, and mental harm.
Ramos, however, feels police acted correctly in their dealings with the 7-year-old.
“I would have handcuffed him, too.”
What do you think is the real story here?
[Image via Shutterstock]