8-Year-Old With Special Needs Charged With Resisting Arrest (VIDEO)

edward hartEdward Hart is currently facing two felony counts after he allegedly got into an altercation with police and damaged the inside of their vehicle. Why is this news-worthy? Because Edward is 8. And he has special needs. So, yes, you read that correctly: Police charged an 8-year-old special needs boy.

Edward ran away from the Hillside Learning and Behavior Center in Allegan, Michigan (something he's done before), and when police caught up with him, a disagreement occurred. After reportedly cursing at officers and breaking the rear police camera, Edward was charged with malicious destruction of police property and resisting and obstructing. His parents, despite doling out a punishment to their son, think the situation is ridiculous. "If they had him under control, why didn’t they ride with him in the back of this cop car," Edward's stepfather told reporters. "So this incident would have never took place?"

Ignorance and ridiculousness of the police officers aside, my thoughts immediately go to the millions of parents, like Edward's, who have to deal with things like this every day of their lives. Not only do they have to deal with children who have special needs and, in Edward's case, anger issues, but they constantly are saddled with the low-grade worry that their child is going to encounter people who aren't compassionate, patient, or understanding. People who are going to be unkind to them; people who are going get them in trouble (cops or otherwise); people who may hurt them. Clearly, parents can't be with their children every minute of the day -- and any parent worries -- but for parents of special needs kids, that worry is amplified, because so many people are ignorant and scared when someone isn't like "everyone else."

It's something many don't give thought to often. Of course, everyone has heard the stories of the jerk who made fun of the autistic boy at the playground, and our heart goes out to both the boy and his parents, but for parents of special needs kids, it goes so much deeper than that. Their worries and fears go beyond that of parents of other children. Depending on their child, in addition to worrying about idiots staring at their kids in the grocery store, they're worried about getting a phone call from the school that their daughter is in trouble again; that their son wandered off school grounds; or that they've gotten in trouble with authorities because of their anger issues.

Sadly, we can't just snap our fingers and make the world a more understanding, caring, and patient place for these children and their parents. But at the very least, we parents, regardless of who our kids are, need to educate our children on how there are different types of unique people in the world, and how it's best to try to come from a place of compassion. That hopefully will help a little.

What do you think of this?


special needs


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

nonmember avatar KEL

Unfathomable! I work with special needs children, and this breaks my heart. So does this:


Cursing at a cop gets you viciously beaten by one.

nonmember avatar myop

So just because someone is "special needs" means they are above the law? Um no! He should be treated the same as any other person. Parents want special kids to be treated equal until it comes to punishment and controlling them. Entitled parents never want to admit their kids were wrong. I do agree that charging him with felonies seem extreme, but he does need to be punished by the law like any other child would.

Mrscj... Mrscjones

My thoughts exactly @myop

nonmember avatar Red

Myop---for goodness sake, this kid is EIGHT YEARS OLD! It's not JUST that he's special needs...it's that he's EIGHT! No one is stating he is above the law, however two felony counts on an eight year old is asinine! This record will follow him indefinitely, and a punishment shouldn't just fit the crime, it needs to fit the age and the understanding of this child.

lizilli lizilli

Myop, this is an 8 year old child for God sake!  Where does it say his parents are "entitled" or believe he can do no wrong?  He is a "special needs" child, not and "entitled" child. Of course he needs to be made to understand what is acceptable and appropriate behavior, but this kid is 8 and even a "bad" 8 year old is still a little kid, a naughty little kid who needs consequences.   Not above the law, but 8 years old!  Since when do we arrest clearly troubled little kids?   I, sincerely, hope the DA and the Judge have more brains and empathy than these cops.

Frost... FrostyMelted

Myop is just a troll looking for trouble or an incredibly stupid individual. Either way, the comment is nonsense.

Frost... FrostyMelted

And for what it's worth, TheStir got this one wrong, too. The police just wanted to recoup the cost of the camera. Police officials say they don't agree with the prosecutor's decision to charge the boy with a crime. So, the DA, not the police, charged the boy. (Info contained in link that TheStir provides but apparently didn't bother to read.)

Movie... Moviebuff

Just because he is 8 doesn't mean shit hmm did we forget about Eric smith who killed at 13 or Jon Venables and Robert Thompson who killed at 10 or Mary Bell who was 11. Yes I know better are going to say it different but age doesn't matter if they want to do bad. The only reason people are treating this different is because he is " special" need.

Snapp... SnappleQueen

@Moviebuff - Because being "special needs" does make the matter different. It's called mitigating circumstances. Are you really this stupid?

1-10 of 27 comments 123 Last