Eight-year-old pepper sprayed by cops: Officers made "great" choice, says police spokesman

Categories: News

Aidan's mother feels differently. She sees the pepper-spraying as excessive, maintaining that police in the two previous instances were able to talk him down.

At this point, Aidan is no longer attending Glennon Heights. Instead, he's enrolled at a school specializing in children with behavior issues -- and he's also seeing a doctor to help him deal with what he calls "anger things" in the 9News report. He is not on medication.

Meanwhile, Davis sees the outcome of the February 22 face-off as positive. "Given the totality of the circumstances, and given that he was indicating to teachers that he had every intention of killing them, we're just happy that no one was hurt," he says. "That's the good news."

Look below to view the 9News story.

More from our News archive: "Jacob Christenson, age 11, facing arson trial in Parker over fire that 'just happened.'"


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164 comments
alicethestrange
alicethestrange

The kid admits to wanting to kill the people, and admits to wanting to use his weapon to kill them with.
This kid needs to go to a mental institution...

Stickman Billiards
Stickman Billiards

It's easy to say "how dare police assault a 9 year old kid" or "why are they scared of a kid with a sharp stick?"  But you have to look at it from all perspectives.  Why happens if they grab the kid and he struggles and stabs the officer in the eye?  How can anyone say that that couldn't happen when it absolutely could?  I would never condone assault of a child, but I would also never ask anyone to put their safety at risk when other options are available.  Pepper spray wears off after about 20 mins.  Next time this little guy might think better about acting that way.  And I hope his home life is inspected to see why he acts this way.

Calebj1304
Calebj1304

YAY! Good for these police for taking charge, I'm sick of this damn passiveness. Did you hear the little psycho "Its just who I am, it's never going to go away" screw that! He needs to be reminded this isn't his world to trash and respect people!

Jeremywilhite09
Jeremywilhite09

Cop does it great job parent does it child gets taken away parent goes to jail.

BadLieutenent
BadLieutenent

..too ridiculous a couple of ju jitsu holds would achieve both restraint and no injury...if cops arent prepared to risk being injured..by a 9 year old...!!then they shouldnt be out there..tasers? pepper spray? on a kid?

Daddy
Daddy

IF you think there was an abuse of discretion or authority 1) hire an attorney or find a pro-bono organization that will represent you, 2) file a civil lawsuit. I doubt that little boy had a spear, and I do not know how he was acting, but I would not need pepper spray for a little boy. Ridiculous.

Peter
Peter

He admits on video he wanted the stick sharp in case they came out of the office. In other words the kid had a weapon and intent to use it to do bodily harm. Pepper spraying seemed to be a very effective non-lethal alternative and seems to have gotten the job done with harm to no one. And yes I have been pepper sprayed (accidental overspray) so I know how much it hurts. I have also been trained to both restrain children as well as adults and have seen what those with uncontrolled anger issues are capeable of including seeing one handcuffed after injuring others break out the side window of a police car. Sometimes the child becomes so worked up they cannot be calmed down and anything you do only makes it worse till the fit runs it's course. This is especially compounded by the child who has this uncontroled behaviour being non-medicated for whatever reason.

Former Po-Po
Former Po-Po

Absolutely they were right in pepper-spraying him.. the use of force continuum allows that absolutely.

The fact this the the third, THIRD time police were called on an 8-yr old, and the parents don't have him in therapy, on meds, etc., speaks volumes about their parenting capabilities.

This kid needs to learn, quite decisively, that the pain outweighs the pleasure when deciding the throw a tantrum and act out in a threatening manner. If he gets is tail kicked EVERY time he does something like this, he'll eventually get the hint that it isn't worth it.

If not, then you just reinforce the behavior.. he gets to act like an idiot, get what he wants, and have no consequences.

Saber
Saber

So we have the government completely disempowering parents and schools and now they are publicizing this to see if the populace will accept the police as the ones who discipline, and hence raise, america's children. If you spank your children you can lose them, but the police are justified in pepper spraying them, according to the extremely slanted press. Hmm, the water is boiling around the frog, and he still hasn't tried to jump out. What was that about the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world?

Yahoo
Yahoo

if he were black he would have been shot.

Deanna.Baker
Deanna.Baker

I think the police are WIMPY and shoot and kill people often and chalk it up to NO BIG DEAL and now they are moving on to innocent children!

There are many ways to difuse situations and often times words by mouth can work wonders if the person talking knows how to defuse and de-escalte a situation. We are trying to teach are children to NOT be agressive and violent yet that is EXACTLY how these officers responded back to his rebellion was with the same kind of actions he was doing and ke is a CHILD!!!!

What a sick worl we live in and then to see idiots in our society saying that the child should have been tased or shot....maybe you need to be, to rid the world of such ignorance! You do not counteract agression and violence with the same tihng ESPECIALLY when it is a child I dont care the circumstance!

adler56
adler56

The Police spokesperson is an idiot. Spraying an 8 year old was not a "great decision"- IMO it showed incompetent cops - couldn't even control an 8 year old- will they shoot him the next time?

Marimagik
Marimagik

We've got to get these kids out of our schools. Their "right" to an education should not put other students and staff in danger. Sadly I think it's going to take another Columbine before people wake up. I worked in education for seven years and left because the situation is so ridiculous. I love how the mom says they should have talked him down and takes no responsibility herself. Not surprising as the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Patrick Kelly
Patrick Kelly

If parents did their job, it would not have come to this. The police have been called twice previously. When was the last time you felt you needed to call a cop on a 9 year old? This is has a severe disconnect with reality and is dangerous. How about the day he doesn't like what the kid next to him said and just stabs him in the eye with a pencil.

Pepper spray was not overboard, the kid had to be stopped and the cops shouldn't have to dance around possible litigation to make the teachers feel safe. It was fast, effective, and no one was injured. What if he managed to trip one of the cops and that cop fell on the pointy stick people are saying isn't dangerous. What if the kid just decided to turn and run, trips, falls on it himself? Its easy to tell people who have never put themselves in the shoes of an officer because they never realize that any situation can go real bad, real quick, and all it takes is a sharp edge and someone who isn't acting rationally.

Queen Pelosi
Queen Pelosi

How about I shove a "twelve to fifteen inches in length and sharpened to a point" right up your ass, and you can see how a "splinter" can hurt?

Queen Pelosi
Queen Pelosi

This fucking brat was wielding a weapon for Christ's sake. The police would have been justified putting lead in his body.

willytee
willytee

It is Never right to abuse a child like these Barney Fifes did to that Boy!

Jimmy
Jimmy

"Aidan's mother feels differently. She sees the pepper-spraying as excessive, maintaining that police in the two previous instances were able to talk him down." The police were called in to deal with this eight year old kid twice before. 'Nuff said. I'm sure that in the past, he just received lots of attention for his actions and it was reinforcing in some sick way. Pain and temporary blindness might just discourage him from threatening those around him so regularly... Ask yourself how many times the cops have been called in to deal with you and how old you are at the moment.

Mike Suttles
Mike Suttles

There's a lot of cos out there who would have shot him for holding a 'weapon' such as that stick. Bunch of pansies - cops should not be given badges until they first raise a teenager.

Drea1719
Drea1719

Place your child on the other end of that stick or under a falling TV and ask you self what you would want the police to do. It's only a matter of time before he turns on the classmates and everyone will be saying why wasn't something done the last three times. Hopefully being pepper sprayed leads to intervention of this childs behavoir. Before he carries through on "kinda" wanting to killl them!

Watchdog
Watchdog

Little serial killer in the making. His mom must be so proud.

Tonya Meadows
Tonya Meadows

What Are the Dangers of Pepper Spray?By Melinda Gaines, eHow ContributorRESOURCE: http://www.ehow.com/about_5373... From article:Oleoresin capsicum-- derived from hot peppers.Swelling of the linings of the nose and throat making breathing difficult especially for those with preexisting respiratory problems, such as asthma.Chemical burns, blistering and sores can result.Capsicum is not water-soluble so applying water to skin that is irritated by pepper spray will not help. Baby shampoo or special wipes are used by EMT workers for removal.Can cause temporary blindness.Can cause death especially if the child had preexisting respiratory problems. If the child had severe allergies to oleoresin capsicum, he could have experienced shock or become unable to breathe once exposed leading to suffocation and death.

When determining whether or not "child abuse" has occurred, CPS must weigh whether the reponce by the victim (in this case the police officer) is appropriate in severity to the acts of the child. I would think, placing the child's life and health at risk is not in proportion with the child's outburst. The police had the choice to put on special protection gear. I'm sure some adult was or should have been trained in defensive moves such as swiping the child's feet from underneath him preventing any lunging by the boy. Then appropriate restraint to follow while using calming techniques by the school's guidance counselor.

The police had options . They simply chose the simplest and fastest and most convenient to them.

Tracy
Tracy

To all those who say that pepper spraying the child was too much, what would you have done if an 80 pound child armed with a 12-15 inch sharpened stick was threatening to kill you? Just because their officers, does not mean he is going to listen to- or respond to them. He is absolutely out of control. Anyone-- including the teachers could have ATTEMPTED to talk him down, as I am sure they did prior to locking themselves in another room however, he needed restraint. And as the world as seen 10 times over, what COULD have been had the officers tried to restrain him physically. People seem to think that police are magical and have powers that simply subdue on queue. They don't. They are there to protect. And it sounds to me the officers did in fact attempt to talk him down, but he came at them and refused to put his big wooden stake down. As for his idiot of a mother, she stated on the GMA interview that he has "no problems", yet he has 2 priors for dealing with police and he admits he has anger issues and wanted to kill his teachers and the officers with the stake. Clearly, he has a problem. Children are growing out of control. Just as another commenter stated, think about Lord of the Flies-- how was one of the children killed in that? Oh yeah! Sharpened wood! Can you imagine living in a world where children do what they want with no repercussion as in this film? All this kid is a selfish, spoiled, overweight, smart*** mama's boy who is not familiar in the least with discipline. But, you reap what you sow.

Tonya Meadows
Tonya Meadows

Children's Hope and Voice advocates for humane treatment of children. Pepper spraying an 8 year old child is not humane. The educators and police are supposed to be trained to restrain out of control children. Some children do throw out of control tantrums. This is not a surprise. The gravity and severity of such tantrums is also increasing due to several factors in our U.S. society including the acceptance and celebration of violence in various media and entertainment outlets. This makes me want to remove my children from public schools. Visit www.childrens-hopeandvoice.org to see how you can advocate for humane treatement of children.

Dmills
Dmills

they should have taken the stick from him and paddled his ass with it. Far to much "time outs" and pampering kids today. They no longer have respect for anyone older than them. They don't want to work. They wear their pants down to the lower portion of their butt-crack and NEVER take accountability for their own actions. Yep.. all that has happened since the cry babies started whining about teachers paddling kids in school. See what ya get!!Pathetic.

atomic1fire
atomic1fire

I think in this case spraying him with a painful chemical that does go away is better then a full grown adult using too much force by tackling him or shooting him.even tazer might be a bit too far, especially since people get all sue happy.Spraying a kid with pepper spray seems like the best last resort, since they can wash it out and then establish a standard for what happens if you don't listen.If it hurt him he probably won't want to do that again, or might think twice about it.obviously the kid knew what he was doing using cardboard as a sheild, so more then likely he was intentional in his behavior.and double reading this makes me think that this kid is the embodiment of all evil.

bigriggs
bigriggs

Maybe the pepper spray will make the little punk think twice next time...

Nobody
Nobody

Any grown man who cannot 'disarm' and restrain an 8 year old child without injuring the child or himself, without using a weapon, should avoid any occupation that may involve interacting with children, small animals, or sharp objects.

Nerak
Nerak

To all of you stating that teachers shouldn't be afraid, I'm not sure what the laws are in Colorado, but in other areas, educators are not allowed to defend themselves. I personally had a band director who was fired after he tried to restrain a child who was freaking out. The kid broke away and in his rage, ran into a door, hurting himself.

Oo
Oo

If he had been a 45 year old Mexican with a pointy stick Denver Police would have just shot him.

Alex S
Alex S

I don't know whether to think this kid is just a kid and feel sorry for him or he has full knowledge and capability of putting people in danger and be scared of him. I don't condone the pepper spray but they should do something about this kid.

Max
Max

Totally believe the police did the right thing. I hope this mom does not end up like the parents of the Menedez's. This child admitted to to "meaning what he said". Mom has more problems ahead than pepper spray if he doesn't start getting the proper care.

Steve Body
Steve Body

Typical response from police, sadly. For all their much trumpeted "training", cops in general seem lost if a situation doesn't neatly fit into one of their pre-conceived scenarios and require a pre-set, by-the-book response. Instead of engaging with the situation and maybe TALKING with the kid, they treat him like an adult "subject" and use a knee-jerk, standard tactic. It's like none of them can think beyond the tools immediately - and by rote - available to them. "Let's see...gun, baton, pepper spray, taser...well, that's it! This is all I have to work with and maybe lethal force would be a little too much (ya think?), so I'll just pepper spray the little SOB because, hey, I got other calls and I haven't had my coffee and donuts, yet."

God,I know police officers have a tough job and risk a lot in the course of their work. But they chose that work. Nobody held a gun on 'em and marched them down to apply for it. And - like it or not, accept it or not - the job is not and never will be something as black and white as these yahoos seem to have made it. IT WAS A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD CHILD. SEVEN...YEARS...OLD. Armed...WITH A PIECE OF WOOD!!! I don't care if he was enraged - it was a SEVEN-YEAR-OLD'S rage. Miniature rage. I'm 58 and not exactly a work-out king and I absolutely KNOW I could have taken the piece of wood away from the kid and talked to him until he had expressed his feelings, calmed down, and been ready to act better. But that's evidently too complicated for officers used to quick 'n' dirty, short-hand solutions. And I don't want to hear from anybody involved, after the fact, that "you weren't there and you don't understand the situation". (wah-wah-wah) BULL____. If you're so clueless and unwilling to stop and THINK that you can't imagine a resolution short of using an adult weapon on a second-grader, I submit that you're in the wrong line of work...and that goes for the teachers who "locked themselves in a nearby classroom", too. If you're so emotionally unequipped that you can't deal with a small child who's throwing a temper tantrum, I suggest your new career choice should be either "hermit" or "telemarketer".

This whole thing fills my throat with vomit. What kind of oblivious weaklings are out there running public schools, these days...and patrolling our streets?

Laurenightengale
Laurenightengale

I have worked with kids with severe behavioral problems, and a 9 year old sprained my back ( she wS much larger than me). We had another student who when she was 8 put two workers in the hospital. So, IMHO, if pepper spray was deemed the only way to ensure safety for others , then it was a smarter choice. Much safer than having the kid rip your hair out, or try to gouge your eyes out!

Of course if there have been this many issues with one child then the home life needs to be investigated and the child must be removed from that school and placed somewhere he can get the help he needs...

Surprised
Surprised

I'm surprised no one has blamed George Bush for this yet

KB
KB

i dont think there is enough from this news article to be able to formulate an opinion. we dont know enough about the kids, the parents, or about human psychology in general. the cops did their job, the administration should have put him in a room to cool off, if they had gotten sued then i would have been pissed. but all in all there just isnt enough understanding of the whole thing to be able to make an opinion.

rain
rain

The "think about what *might* happen" argument is specious. More appropriate is to think about what is *likely* to happen. He "might" have poked a cop in the eye? Well, he might have poked one in the head, pried off his skull, and eaten his brains! I mean, he *might* have done anything, right? Cops are supposed to evaluate not only the kind of threat that "might" happen, but consider the likelihood of that threat.

> I would never condone assault of a child,

...and then you go on to condone assault of a child.

> but I would also never ask anyone to put their safety at risk when other options are available

Such as, say, assaulting a child? Because that was the choice they went with, apparently without considering these "other options" you speak of.

> Next time this little guy might think better about acting that way.

More likely, I think the lesson this nine-year-old child will learn from this is "cops can't be trusted, they'll attack you even if you're a nine-year-old kid with a stick."

Dexter
Dexter

I say throw his dumb ass to the jr high kids who will beast the shit out him and call it self defense. This little shit needs to have his ass beat by his parents, who apparently let him get away with anything. Threatening MY child and I will threaten your parents, right back and tell them, if your child hurts me or MY kids ,because he is just a stupid ass jerk, and I'll beat the crapout of your ass and see how YOU like it.Put the parents in jail, take this kid and put him in Juvie, and throw away the key. This little idiot is headed for prison, anyway, as he will most lilkely kill someone, before he is 21. When they do , you have a erfect excuse for the death penalty.What are the parents going to say then? I'm sorry?That doesn't cut the mustard. Pull out the Dexter card. Teach the little shit a lesson.

Saber
Saber

Nope, people haven't seen the word "Terrorism" on the television enough yet to be scared of a 8 year old. Try again after another four years of cowardice therapy.

Oo
Oo

how bout you dont

Guest
Guest

Betcha the little shit thinks twice next time.

Drea1719
Drea1719

This stick is also to be reported as 15 inches long and similar to floor molding. When he tore it from the wall it split causing a pointed end. Sounds similar to a wooden sword.

Dmills
Dmills

do you need some cheese to go with your excess whining? Can cause temporary blindness? How about this... A sharp stick in the eye from a undisciplined child can cause PERMANENT blindness!!

Nerak
Nerak

If you can't legally restrain a dangerous child and you can't legally defend yourself, heck, even a rabid squirrel could eventually kill you.

Or, you could just break the law and take that kid to the floor until police arrive, then start the long process to find a job in the Denver metro. As I understand it, the economy's not-so-great for terminated teachers up there.

adler56
adler56

why would an 80 pound weakling go into working with aggressive kids?Not too smart.

Laurenightengale
Laurenightengale

To clarify: I would not have used pepper spray on the child. I am, however, trained to handle outbursts suchas these, and always had a team to back me up, of at least 4 people trained the same way. Eventually with the Child who hurt me so severly, we would have to close the door of the room she used As a classroom. She would scream and howl and throw things. But, she was contained, unfortunately it had been years she was in care there, and if she couldn't Burt someone else she would hurt herself. It was a lose lose situation, and one in which social services was monitoring her home life, as there was concern there, as well as her meds being changed so often. We had special gear to wear, To protect us, and she had a special coat to wear that her teeth could not penetrate. So I don't agree pepper spray is the answer, but if it all they had available to maintain safety then That is different. Police are trained to handle adults who are aggressive, not children who are just as aggressive. They may have severly injured the boy had they tried to physically handle the situation. They used the resources at hand.

But the teacher and mother should have to answer for the bebavior. The teacher should have requested he be placed in another class, or extra help (training) to deal with him. The mother should have asked for help long before this, since she cannot control her child because of an disorder he has or lack of discipline on her part.

Steve Body
Steve Body

Yeah and I'm shocked no one has tried to blame it on Obama.

Laurenightengale
Laurenightengale

I was workin at school for autism. This child was much larger than me, so I should change my occupation? It's a hazard I accepted as a part of my job.

Quit beig a sizeist. I bet you're one of those people on the air plane who think short statured women shouldn't be allowed carryons, simply because the over was bins are too high up for them to reach, to put said carry on in.

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