Skip to comments.Autistic man who allegedly attacked young child not arrested
Posted on 11/21/2015 11:44:40 AM PST by Altariel
ABERDEEN, Wash. -- The mother of a 3-year-old boy is furious that a man wasn't arrested after he allegedly assaulted the child at an Aberdeen playground.
The suspect is developmentally disabled, and prosecutors say that presents a challenging legal issue.
Three-year-old Matthew Svoboda was playing at the park Tuesday when things got ugly. The boy's family claims a 27-year-old man started attacking the child without warning.
"He pulled him off that with one arm and then he started hitting him, either with a closed fist or an open hand," said Matthew's brother, Toby Svoboda.
The boy's mother, Isabel Svoboda, watched in shock.
"He came over and grabbed Matthew by the legs to get him closer and he started socking him," she said.
It wasn't until after they pulled the man away from Matthew that the family realized he was autistic, visiting the park with a group of other developmentally disabled adults.
"I still don't think it's right," Toby said. "He approached Matthew. He ran over to him to do that."
The three people supervising the group placed the man in their van. Police arrived soon after, but instead of arresting the man, they gave him a citation for fourth degree assault, which is a misdemeanor.
"After the situation was over, he was let back in the park to go play again. So that's upsetting," Isabel said.
What's even more upsetting to the family is that the city prosecutor will likely dismiss the case.
"Based on the defendant having autism and having the mental capabilities of a 5-year old," said deputy city attorney Forest Worgum.City officials say the best solution is for the group home to keep tighter control of its clients and try to make sure the man is better supervised.
Representatives from the Harbor Alternative Living Association would not comment on the attack, and neither would anyone from the State Department of Developmental Disabilities, which oversees the association.
"I don't think he should have the privilege to run free like everybody else because he could hurt somebody -- especially a little kid," Isabel said.
Matthew wasn't seriously injured in the attack.
If you are a danger to yourself or others you can be detained,
Matthew wasn’t seriously injured in the attack.. . .by the grace of God.
The mother went full retard. Never ever go full retard.
Sure she/ the mom is upset but tell me... what could possible be gained by putting a person with the mental capicity of a 5 y/o in a cage? The DA made the right decission.
Maybe the correct place for the man is a secure facility and not a group home where he is able to get out among others. What will the response be when he succeeds in seriously injuring someone? Golly it’s tuff because he has the mentality of a five year old? Well, DUH! He also has the lack of restraint of a five year old and a five year old in twenty seven year old’s body does a hell of lot more damage when they throw a tantrum.
What is gained is that this sick b@stard wouldn't be free to roam about beating innocent children. If I saw this b@stard beating my child I would no doubt be held responsible for the b@stard's hospital bills.
Oh, and you're confused, sport. It wasn't the mother who "went full retard" ...
If the autistic man can’t legally be held responsible for his actions, then whoever the care-giver for that man is, is responsible.
the problem is that who ever was watching the man is responsible for what happen....The thing I find unacceptable is that the group home allowed him to continue playing in the park after the incident. jail is the wrong place for the man because obviously he cant form criminal intent or even understand he is being punished for.
If the autistic man can’t be legally held responsible for his actions, he should be under lock and key 24/7 if he can’t prevent himself from assaulting the public.
I’m sorry, what did the three year old gain when a twenty-seven year old man saw him, selected him for an assault, and assaulted him?
Assault, especially when an adult assaults a child, is a *good* reason for incarceration.
Agree 100% Responsiblity belongs to the supervising staff. Since we don’t know enough about the autistic mans past interaction with others in a public setting ....it serves no purpose to speculate futher on what should or should not have been done.
Are you always a moron or just special.
It sounds like a cage is exactly where this guy belongs.
Wanna bet he votes and makes babies?? Were it my child he wpuld never be a problem again.
They obviously let you out on the streets. The man is NOT a sick bastard. He is for all intents and purposes, mentally retarded, incapable of beating anyone out of malice, you moron.
I stand in awe of such a cogent, well-organized thought that you have taken what is likely considerable time and effort to formulate. With your response you have indeed, sir, demonstrated without question the extent of your intellect and of your ability to respond effectively to one who doesn't share your opinion that compassion and understanding is the better way to deal with an adult who, whatever their mental limitations, commits a violent act against a 3-year-old.
I do, however, extend my best wishes for your speedy recovery. Sincerely,
Your new "special" friend
Holding an opinion that an adult, regardless of their mental condition, should not be free to beat a 3-year-old hardly makes one a "moron" as you so eloquently opined. I'm not saying the sick man should be locked up because he is not right in the head, I'm saying he should not be allowed to roam free to beat babies. What's so hard to understand? If he has violent tendancies, keep him on a leash! This may sound harsh to you, but that's what I think.
I have a cousin that is in his 50s now that is mentally about 5 years old. he lives in Canada and from what my aunt says he gets to do all sorts of things traveling with the staff from his group home. I would hate to think because he is not there mentally that he missed out on opportunities like going to the park or to see the latest Disney movie. Any interaction has to be watched. To protect him and to protect any kid he comes in contact with.
in the article we hear nothing about the kid going to hospital so I am guessing that the kid was not hurt. I am sure it was a bad experience for the kid but to think that all mentally challenged should be locked up is sick.
If he really were mentally retarded, why *target* a three year old child? Why not a grown man walking down the street?
Someone mentally retarded to the point of being unable to distinguish that assaulting an innocent person is not okay would *not* make the distinction between “likely to defend himself and fight me back” and “incapable of defending himself against me.”
A wild beast selects a target based on weakness and lack of self defense; that’s why a cougar stalks a fawn. He may be incapable of reading Shakespeare; that doesn’t make him incapable of the low amount of intelligence that it takes to size up a victim’s threat before attacking. Even a housecat can do that.
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