Charles Kinsey: Therapist Shot By Police While Laying With Hands In Air Is Reunited With Autistic Patient He Was Trying To Help

Therapist Charles Kinsey had a heartwarming reunion with his autistic patient Arnaldo Rios. Kinsey was thrust into the national spotlight after he was shot by a police officer in Miami while laying on the ground with his hands in the air.

The therapist was attempting to calm an autistic patient who had exited a nearby facility. A caller had phoned police about a possible “suicidal man” with a gun sitting in the street. That man was Rios, but the gun was actually a toy car. The kind-hearted therapist informed the responding officer that Rios was a patient at the facility and that he was autistic. He let them know that Rios did not have a gun but rather a toy car and that he just needed to calm down.

However, the therapist’s attempts to save Rios would end up resulting in a bullet to the leg courtesy of the responding officer’s poor shot — a shot that was reportedly aimed at Rios.

The Daily Mail reports that therapist Charles Kinsey was shot by a police officer as he attempted to help one of his autistic patients back into a nearby facility. Arnaldo Rios has autism, and he became upset. The autistic man then sat cross-legged in the middle of a street with a toy car.

Soon, a concerned citizen called police after seeing Rios in the street to report a “possible suicidal man” with a gun. However, Rios did not have a gun. The gun that the caller thought they saw was actually a metal toy car reflecting in the light. Therefore, when the police officer responded to the incident, the level-headed Kinsey tried to defuse the situation and protect his patient.

He informed the officer plainly that Rios was one of his patients, and he was not suicidal but rather upset and autistic. He told the officer that Rios did not have a gun and that the object in his hand was a toy. Despite his pleas for understanding, Kinsey was told to lay on the ground with his hands in the air. The therapist immediately complied but continued to tell the officer that Rios was not a threat and just needed to be calmed.

Although Kinsey was complying with the officer, Rios was not. Therefore, as the man held the toy car, the officer fired a shot, allegedly intended for the autistic man. However, the bullet missed Rios and instead hit Kinsey in the leg.

Kinsey was taken to the hospital with a bullet wound to the thigh and is still struggling to recover from the incident. Meanwhile, Rios was also placed in the hospital for emotional distress following the shooting of his caregiver. Kinsey knew of the trauma to Rios and wanted to check on his patient and make sure he was okay. Therefore, Kinsey made a trip to visit Rios in the hospital and was greeted with the warmest welcome possible. Rios reportedly jumped out of his bed when he saw Kinsey coming and immediately embraced him.

“I wanted to come and visit him before I did anything. It really touched me, just to see him, he’s looking well, he’s doing really well, he was very happy to see me, he gave me a real big hug.”

Meanwhile, Kinsey says he is still recovering from the incident and has trouble sleeping at night. While he is healing physically, he says he still has emotional issues from the ordeal.

The police officer who shot Kinsey is currently on paid leave as an investigation is underway.

[Image via Miami Herald video]