Wilson Reyes, 7-Year-Old, Handcuffed Over $5, Lawsuit Claims

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The family of a 7-year-old Wilson Reyes is suing police and New York City for $250 million after police allegedly handcuffed and interrogated him.

Wilson Reyes Photo

Reyes was accused of taking $5 of lunch money that fell on the ground in front of him and getting into a fight with a fellow student at Public School 114 in the Bronx.

Responding to a complaint of assault and robbery, police took the boy to the local precinct where officers allegedly handcuffed and interrogated him for 10 HOURS.

"Imagine how I felt seeing my son in handcuffs," Wilson's mother, Frances Mendez, told the N.Y. Post. "It was horrible. I couldn't believe what I was seeing."

The claim, filed by family attorney Jack Yankowitz, accuses the NYPD of false imprisonment, physical, verbal, emotional and psychological abuse.

Not to mention the deprivation of Reyes' constitutional rights.

Robbery charges against the boy were later dropped, and the NYPD, although it disputes the accusations in the suit, is investigating the incident.

Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne told ABC News:

"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 Internal Affairs Bureau."

New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio was critical, however, of the NYPD in a statement posted on the New York City Public Advocate's website.

"Seven-year-olds don't belong in handcuffs," he said, chastising the system in general. "As a parent, I wouldn't stand for this in one of my kids' schools."

"Our over-reliance on the NYPD as a disciplinary tool traumatizes our young people, sows distrust in our communities and drains vital city resources away from responding to genuine crimes."

"This has to stop."

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Handcuffing this 7 year old terrorist was EXACTLY the right thing to do. The brat asaulted and robbed another child...He didn't go in the kids bookbag and sneak the money out. He PLANNED to stun the kid by punching him in the face and then steal his money. He is a criminal at age 7!!!
Had he been 17 and do this his A** would be in jail where it belongs. The parents should have been arrested too. They raised that creature. The first teachers are the parents. He didn't learn such heinous behavior from Sesame Street, Barney, Romper Room, a leader of any denomination of any given religion, in Head Start, or from a teacher in any public, private or parochial school. He learned it from his first teachers - - his parents.
Now he's learning that every time - - and there will be many others, I am sure- - he commits a criminal act, he can blame anyone and everyone else EXCEPT the real culprit (himself, his parents, his upbringing...loathe as I am to call it THAT). We'll see him again in the news. He'll "graduate" to more violent crimes and his KINDERGARTEN graduation photo will be the one we see alongside his mug shot because if he continues on this road (as it seems he will given his mother's solution to the problem) he will not have any other kind of graduation and we (well New Yorkers anyway) will have to pay for him and his actions for the rest of his life.

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Putting a 7 year old in hand cuffs is truly unfair. He's at an age where he's still learning what's right and what's wrong. Lot's of kids that age take things from each other at school or fight. Does that mean we should arrest all of them? NO. They just need a stern talking to, a time out, being grounded, or getting detention. Jeez.

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@ Jasmine

We should put anyone who commit's a violent CRIME in handcuffs EVERY and ANY time such an offense is committed. Wilson Reyes IS NOT learning what is right and wrong. His parents have taught him to use violence to get what he wants even if it is not rightfully his and to abuse the law to get out of trouble. The parents should be arrested. Wilson should be put into a group home or perhaps, should a thorough psychiatric evaluation reveal it is warranted, an institution of some sort. He is a danger to others. He is violent. He is most likely sick. He should not be allowed to roam unchecked to harm others. One day, namby pambies who said "Aww he's just a child. That wasn't right. It was excessive" will also be whining that "no one taught him any differently" Putting his small, nevertheless violent, person in handcuffs TODAY may save us from having to pay for the upkeep of his adult criminal person later. It may even save us from having to foot the bill for his funeral and the wrongful death suite his Mommy will file when he's subdued in the most final of ways, by law enforcement later.

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@ Jasmine

@ Jasmine: i agree that children are precious, but if you've experienced kids from rough neighborhoods (who are disrespectful, foul lang./manner, show aggressive behavior), time/out/grounding/detention will do NO good. This kid, Wilson Reyes, goes to a Bronx school and is known to be a bully. Harassed the particular kid in this altercation. I know children simply mimic what they see...but sometimes you just have to give serious discipline. And the parents?? com'on suing for $250 mil? that's ridiculous.

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I understand the method was extreme, but I'm true he will think twice about any wrong doing in the future. He we catch them that early it will be less run in with the law in the future.

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@ Kimaras31

Amen. Teach him NOW. His offense was extreme. Unusual measure had to be taken granted that "time out" sure as hell wasn't going to work. I wish he could be expelled from his school as well...but then that's making him someone else's problem. I wonder if the mother of his victim knows that she can secure a "safety transfer" for her son (I'm a teacher in NYC) seeing as I AM SURE his ATTACKER will not be removed and one cannot get an order of protection against a 7 year old- - no matter how violent.

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this is s sad to read.
the worst part is NO policeman takes resposibility.
everyone is backing his colleage. SO WHAT WENT WRONG HER?

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@ abe

What went wrong is that two individuals created a monster and police officer had to step in. My husband is a police officer, as are five of my cousins, and were two of my uncles. I don't support the police and their "blue wall" in all instances, you'll have to trust me on that. However, If I were a police officer (and I'm not I am a teacher so chances are MY job would be on the line had I been in this situation too because I would have DEFINITELY allowed the police to cuff that ....brat) I would definitely be supporting my colleague or pushing him out of the way so that I could cuff him.
What went wrong wasn't didn't go wrong on the end of the police. It went wrong in the home of that brat and I guarantee that WILSON REYES' father IS NOT a police officer...