Metro Transit police officers say that as they tried to subdue a teenager who was resisting arrest earlier this week in St. Paul, the 17-year-old lost consciousness, according to police reports released Wednesday night.
Maria Caldwell has said that her son, Marcus, is autistic, suffers seizures and has a number of mental health disorders including sensory and anger management problems. She said officers mishandled the situation and unnecessarily injured her son.
Caldwell has hired an attorney and is considering filing a formal complaint against the officers. Metro Transit police are reviewing the incident.
Offices say that around 7 p.m. Monday they noticed the teenager standing on the light rail tracks on University Avenue near Lexington Parkway. When police approached him and asked for an ID card, he told him that he was only 17. After the teen did not try to find an ID and police told him to put his hands behind his back, he started to move away. The officers then grabbed him by his vest and wrists as the boy resisted.
Officer Richard Wegner said that he put the boy on the ground with a leg sweep, but the teenager continued to resist and kick and punch at the officers. Wegner said he used his arm to put the teenager in a neck restraint until officer Paul Buzicky was able to put one handcuff on him.
"I released the suspect and was trying to roll him over onto his stomach so we could get him handcuffed behind his back," Wegner wrote in his statement. "When he got onto his side I heard him take a deep breath. He then began to kick again. I was trying to control his upper body by pinning his head down to the ground with my knee."
After the boy was handcuffed, police noticed that he was unconscious. Medical staff was called, and the teen was taken to Regions Hospital. While at the hospital, the mother informed the officers of her son’s disabilities, and they determined it was better to send him home, a Metro Transit spokesman later said.
In his report on the incident, Sgt. Peter Peterson said that officers Wegner and Buzicky's use of force complied with department policies.
Read the reports below.