NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — He is 7 years old and was cuffed to a wall inside the 44th Precinct. This after third grader Wilson Reyes was accused of stealing $5 from another third grader, charges his babysitter said he denied.
“He said I no take a money [from] nobody in the school,” Wanda Matos told CBS 2’s Amy Dardashtian on Wednesday.
But Reyes’s lawyer, Jack Yankowitz, said that didn’t stop the school safety officer at his school, P.S. X114 in the Bronx. Yankowitz said the little boy was kept six hours at the precinct where, “Wilson Reyes was handcuffed and verbally, physically and emotionally abused by Police Officer Collazo and other police officers.”
The claims form the basis of a $250 million lawsuit filed against the NYPD. In response, the Department said, “While the lawyer’s claims are grossly untrue in many respects, including fabrication as to how long the child was held, the matter is nonetheless being reviewed by the Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau.”
The event started over a fight for $5. One man familiar with the situation said his son was bullied by Reyes, a friend dropped the money and a fight broke out.
“He said the boy beat him up and then take his money from him,” the man said.
Reyes’s mother, Frances Mendez, refused to comment. Court documents said when she went to get her son at the precinct she was denied access to him for hours.
Because of the media frenzy, Reyes was taken out of school early, ushered out through a back door and was hiding in a friend’s apartment.
Parents at the school said the $5 scuffle warranted a trip to the principal’s office, not the Police Department
“Calling the cops and getting the kid locked up, that’s just nonsense,” a parent said.
They said the 4-foot-7, 75-pound boy hardly looks like a hardened criminal, more like a scared child.
Reyes’ attorney claimed the boy was charged as an adult with two counts of robbery, but that those charges were later dropped.
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