LAKEWOOD, Colo. — The mother of an 8-year-old boy pepper-sprayed by suburban Denver police as he threw a violent tantrum at his elementary school said Wednesday that she wishes authorities had chosen to talk him down instead.
Police in Lakewood say they pepper-sprayed 8-year-old Aidan Elliott twice Feb. 22 at Glennon Heights Elementary School after he refused to drop a piece of wooden wall trim that he was trying to stab them with.
Cops and kids: 3 keys to dealing with "out of control" children
By Betsy Brantner Smith
Cops and kids are a natural combination. We all know that police officers do so much good in our communities — we’re SROs, child abuse investigators, juvenile officers, and gang specialists.
We also work with youth informally, through afterschool programs, Special Olympics, youth sports, Explorer Scouts, and many other worthwhile endeavors.
Most cops have a natural ability to deal well with kids, but when you get that call to assist a parent because Johnny is getting out of hand, don’t let complacency turn a citizen assist into a deadly assault.
"I wanted to make something sharp, like if they came out, 'cause i was so mad at them," the boy said on NBC's "Today" show. "I was going to try to whack them with it."
His mother, Mandy, said she wants police in Lakewood to get special training in dealing with children. She said her son has a history of behavioral problems and has responded to rationalization in previous outbursts.
"I don't think a child should get pepper sprayed," the woman said.
Asked on ABC's "Good Morning America" whether he meant it when he told police he wanted to kill them, the boy responded: "A little."
Police say pepper-spraying the boy was the safest option.
"I kind of deserved it," Aidan conceded to "Today."
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The mother said her son was in a special program for children with behavioral problems. He has since transferred to another school.