Is it o.k. for police to pepper spray an eight year old?

    See article:
    He had just thrown a TV and chairs and was now trying to use a cart to bust through a door to an office where teachers had taken some young students for safety.

    They called the police.

    The officers found him with a foot-long piece of wood trim with a knife-like point in one hand and a cardboard box in the other.

    "Come get me, f-----," he said.

    When they couldn't calm him down, one squirted Aidan with pepper spray. He blocked it with the cardboard box.

    A second squirt hit the youngster in the side of the head, and down he went, according to an account of the Feb. 22 standoff in a police report first obtained by KUSA-TV.

    Aidan and his mother went on national talk shows on Wednesday to say using pepper spray on an unruly 8-year-old was too much.

    When asked about the pepper spray and what he did, Aidan said: "I kind of deserved it."

    Considering their options they did the right thing. I can only imagine how hard this child must be on his mother/family. Yet there she is defending him and putting him in another school. So now another school that has no experience with this child, may even put more people in danger. Does this mother want money?

    0  Views: 2540 Answers: 12 Posted: 12 years ago

    Using pepper spray on an eight year old child can produce extreme medical consequences.


    My son is eight. If he was to be pepper sprayed by the police at his school there had better be a good reason. I would be livid! To say the very least. But if I found out that my son had acted like this child, I would be searching for the appropriate help, rather than pointing the finger at the cops. My son would never ever act this way to teachers or police, but if he did, what would the options be? Pepper spray in my opinion is safer then tackling, twisting his arms, wrestling with him, or any other forceful measure.


    I saw this story on FOX yesterday, it just blew me away, that the cops couldn't have talked a weak old lady on oxygen, into dropping a knife. They shouldn't have ever done such a ridiculous thing, it's simply absurd.

    What's next a 5 year old in handcuffs?

    12 Answers

    Did anyone watch the video? This is the 3rd time this child has done this at school. The first 2 times, he was talked down. This time he wasn't going to be talked down. The mother claims he does not do this at home, only at school, yet this last episode started on the bus, not in the school. He was angry because the kids wouldn't let him do something he wanted to do. He doesn't say what. His mother also said he had been on medication because he couldn't control his temper. Do you believe he was on medication because of only 2 episodes at school and NONE at home as she claims? She also said she took him off the medication because she didn't like what it did, she never consulted a doctor again. The boy does appear to have learned something from all this. It will be interesting to see how he acts in his new school.


    No, I did not watch the video, but I believe you did and from what you say, I was correct in that there was a medical issue involved. If the mother took her child off the medication against medical advice, then maybe she was the ultimate root cause? Or more likely, she saw the child having adverse medical reactions, but did not have the money or insurance to return to the doctors with her child? As I said, I don't know the background, but remain convinced there was, and is more to the story. I also am convinced the police did their job effectively.

    What were the other options? Taser? I think that would have been too much. Tackling him and risking bodily injury? No. Shooting him....uh, no, not justified. Pepper spray stings and can be washed away. This boy being so out of control is a clear cry for help. As young as he is and knowing himself how out of control he is, he was begging to be stopped. He needed someone stronger than his own rage to stop him. The officer did just that. His own mother can't seem to find the strength to stop him. I think he has a new look at reality now. He's seen that someone cared enough to stop him. Just my opinion.

    If the 8 year old is aiming daddy's GLOAK 9mm Semi-Automatic at them well....YEAH, Spray Away! I guess it depends on the circumstances.

    No it isn't right

    The cop was right the kid was wrong a lesson was learned end of story sorry about the bleeding hearts If society would crack down on a lot more out of control kids things would change Parents are at fault for not teaching their children any respect .


    While I agree all children need to be taught respect, the article made it sound like there was an underlying medical issue at play. If that were the case, respect or lack of was not the issue. As a teacher, I've found many times the actual event is not the root cause, but a symptom of other problems no one may be aware of at the time. When kids are involved, think big picture because things are seldom what they seem.

    I think the officer did the right thing. Talking this young boy into surrendering wasn't working, so what should he/she do? Yes some lawyer will see some dollars in this 4 excessive punishment or some other B.S.

    Anytime a person's life is in danger, or if a person is threatening the life of another, the police must use whatever minimal means they can to control the situation. In this case, while I was obviously not part of the police inquest, if the article portrayed the situation realistically, I would say the police tried to first diffuse the situation, but resorted to pepper spray after failing other means. In this case, the child held a spear (long piece of wood with a pointed end), which could have been considered a deadly weapon. The fact that they resorted to a relatively non-violent act to subdue the child, seemed reasonable.

    So the short answer is, yes if by not doing so could or would cause the injury to either the 8 year old, or to others, and it was the least offensive way to arrest the situation from escalating.

    Keep in mind, pepper spray is potentially deadly to anyone with respiratory problems. For that reason, every police officer goest through training as to when it it appropriate to use.

    Absolutely not. The boy in question was in a school that was composed of similar children with behavioral problems. If the teachers could not handle the situation without a tramatic outcome for the child and/or other children thay should not be teachers at that schoool.



    I side with bluedeath in this. Teacher's hands are tied when it comes to restraining a student. They are not allowed to do it. The police must be called in to take those steps.



    He could have inadvertently harmed himself by trying to break free of the police officer's hold on him. Children's bones break easily. In his fit, he could have injured himself had he broken free. He could have run into something and cracked his head open trying to get away. There are just too many scenarios that could have happened had the officer tried physical restraint. I'm assuming you have no idea how strong an enraged child can be. There was still the matter of the weapon. Had the child swing the weapon at an approaching officer, he could have caused harm with it.



    I'll read again but I believe all children were removed from the room. I still feel the pepper spay was the safest alternative.

    "There were eight students with Aidan in the classroom, Reeves said, and teachers removed them after he became violent. They barricaded themselves in an office, as he tried to bust in, Davis said."

    Headless Man

    My wife is a teacher and she handles most kids well, however some kids not so. One example the school had to hire to large men to keep one kid, age 10, from hurting his self or someone else, they had a small padded room to put him in when he has a fit.

    Headless Man

    <a href="/users/2135/angie/">@Angie</a> I know how they control people in the psych wards, I had a daughter in one for a while and they had what they called sit down and shut-up shot and a padded room. It worked well but school don't have that.


    Comments like that by Lyocco are reasons teachers are demonized instead of sanctified. As a teacher, if I were to touch a student, much less restrain them in any way, I'd be prosecuted and thrown into jail and that would end my career. From a teacher's point of view, It is better to err on the side of school policy. In this case, the teachers probably followed school policy and allowed the police to handle the dangerous situation, just as they should have. I say, GOOD JOB EVERYBODY!

    In Vietnam children were sent with hand grenades & instructed to pull the pin and drop it in the midst of soldiers. The need for an effective response is essential.


    The kid had weapon Lyocco. Its not about how much effort it would've taken it's about the risks. There were a lot more risks that would've been taken if they had physically forced him down compared to the risks taken with pepper spray.


    So tell us how you would have handled the situation..


    The response was not appropriate. How much effort does it take to subdue an 8 year old child. Let's be realistic and not over react.

    I saw him on TV and he seemed well behaved. That proves to me he can be good but didn't want to be. He has learned if he throws a fit he gets his way. Now wander where he learned that.

    Headless Man

    True, but he still had to be brought under control.


    It may not have had anything to do with what he wanted or did not want. I could have been a medical issue that caused him to act out. I don't know, but I would guess if that kid acted out one way in a confrontational way, but then was calm later on television, a medical issue cannot be ruled out.


    Yes, he did have to be brought under control. But that was not my point. In order to make sure there was no repeated event, the root cause needed to be investigated.

    As said in many countries around the world "It could only happen in the USA" I am ammazed at the rhetoric some people go on with. The little bugger was in the wrong and the police in the right end of story. If parents were more accountable for their childrens action this sort of behaviour would not occur. The mother in this case apparently took the child off medicaly prescribed medication. What medical qualifications did she have to do this? As for all the opponents to the police action it is thanks to you and your kind that kids are the way they are. Make excuses for their behaviour and you will breed more of the same.


    No offense Angie, but nowhere in PEOPLE's comment did I read your name. I think your name calling is a bit unnecessary.


    Thank you for your support ashligh16. I was not referring to any one in particular but to the " modern" attitude that has been adopted toward our training coaching and directing our children. I am sorry if that has upset some people but I can only say that perhaps I hit a raw nerve. I am 79 yrs old have 7 children plus two step children 12 grandchildren and 16 great grand children. My children have on numerious occassions thanked me for being the father I have been and I am humbled by this showing of love for me, apologise to any misunderstanding.

    I think the boy deserved it. It's obviously happened more than once and talking him down may have worked at the moment but he went and did it again, this time, prepared with weapons. He needs some form of help to deal with whatever it is affecting him because it doesnt seem like his parents are doing much to aid in the situation. He may only get worse as time goes on if he's not helped asap.


    He already seemed to have a lot of hate and he was threatening the security of other children and adults. He had a weapon; the other option was for police to potentially put themselves in danger by using physical force. What other options did the police have? They couldn't count on using words with him as from what the story says, they had already tried that.



    "When asked about the pepper spray and what he did, Aidan said: "I kind of deserved it."

    Apparently he learned something.


    I got voted down Angie because you didn't like my opinion? ... and a month later? Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me but ok.

    Top contributors in Uncategorized category

    Answers: 18061 / Questions: 154
    Karma: 1101K
    Answers: 47271 / Questions: 115
    Karma: 953K
    country bumpkin
    Answers: 11322 / Questions: 160
    Karma: 838K
    Answers: 2392 / Questions: 30
    Karma: 760K
    > Top contributors chart