A 7-year-old boy from the Bronx was reportedly handcuffed by police and interrogated for over 10 hours after he was falsely accused of stealing $5 from a classmate.
Authorities said that Wilson Reyes allegedly punched a 9-year-old boy before taking the child’s money. According to WABC, the box was held in a classroom at the public school for four hours before officers transported him to a nearby precinct.
The boy’s parents said their son then spent the next six hours inside the police station before he was charged with robbery.
“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. Imagine how I felt seeing my son in handcuffs! It was horrible. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”
The New York Post explains that the fight broke out after the money in question fell onto the ground in front of a group of boys. After one of the kids snatched up the cash, Reyes was accused to taking the money. That’s when the fight erupted.
Mendez is filing a $250 million claim against the police department for the way they treated her son. Although the boy was detained as a result of the scuffle, Inspector Kim Royster said the situation had been entirely blown out of proportion.
“[The story is] grossly untrue in many respects, including fabrication as to how long the child was held in the precinct which was less than half of the time mentioned.”
The charges against the 7-year-old were eventually dropped. School officials referred any questions regarding the alleged interrogation to the New York Police Department.