A mother has filed a $250 million claim against the New York Police Department alleging that her 7-year-old son was held for 10 hours of questioning over a $5 bill.
Frances Mendez accused the NYPD of mistreating her son after he was mistakenly arrested for stealing a $5 bill. Police responded to the incident after receiving a 911 call, according to reports. The caller alleged that Wilson Reyes had punched another boy in the face and then taken his money, a law enforcement source said.
"We responded to a 911 call of a robbery and assault … Eventually, [Wilson] was taken back to the precinct and placed in the juvenile room," the source told The New York Post. "He was charged with robbery. The allegation was that he punched the kid and took his money. He took the money forcibly."
Another boy in Reyes' class at PS X114 in the Bronx later confessed to taking the money, according to legal documents. Mendez said her son was escorted from the class in handcuffs and held in a classroom for four hours before being driven to the 44th Precinct. He arrived at the precinct at around 3 p.m. the police source said, and was released by 7:45 pm.
"That's standard for a juvenile arrest," the source added.
The incident occurred at the beginning of December; charges against Reyes were dropped on Dec. 26.
"Reyes was handcuffed and verbally, physically and emotionally abused, intimidated, humiliated, embarrassed and defamed," the $250 million lawsuit against the police force alleges.
The boy's mother also stated that she was not allowed to see her son immediately after arriving at the station. When she was permitted into the room, she claims her son was seated in a chair with his left hand cuffed to the wall. She quickly snapped a photo, according to The Post.
"I never imagined the cops could do that to a child. We're traumatized," Reyes said.