ARVADA, Colo. — Arvada Police are defending the way they handled the arrest of an 11-year-old boy. The Arvada boy was arrested and hauled away in handcuffs from his home for drawing stick figures in school – something his therapist told him to do.
His parents say they understand what he did was inappropriate, but are outraged by the way Arvada Police handled the case. The parents did not want their real names used. They say “Tim” is being treated for Attention Deficit Disorder and his therapist told him to draw pictures when he got upset, rather than disrupt the class. So that’s what he did. Last October, he drew stick figures of himself with a gun, pointed at four other stick figures with the words “teacher must die.”
The boy drew the pictures to let out angry emotions. Tim, his parents, and his therapist say it was not a threat and that Tim would never hurt anyone. He felt calmer and was throwing the picture away when the teacher saw it and sent him to the principal’s office.
The school was aware that the boy was in treatment, determined he was not a threat, notified his parents and sent him back to class. His mother, “Jane” was shocked when Arvada Police showed up at their home later that night.
She says she told her son to cooperate and tell the truth, but was horrified when they told her they were arresting him and then handcuffed him and hauled him away in a patrol car. His mother says she begged police to let her drive her son to the police department and to let her stay with him through the booking process but they refused. They put him in a cell, took his mug shot and fingerprinted him. He says he thought he was going to jail and would never be able to go home again…