Autistic High School Student arrested by SRO in classroom for not following directions

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Middle Tennesee SRO Robert ‘Bobby’ Enoch arrested an 18-year-old autistic student at Wilson Central High School when the student was “refusing to follow directives” inside an In-School Suspension classroom. Things only got worse from there…

An affidavit signed by Robert ‘Bobby’ Enoch as the arresting School Resource Officer with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department, and Deputy Locke as a witness, states that while on routine patrol at Wilson Central High School on September 23rd, the principal asked for some assistance with a ‘disorderly student’ who was refusing to report to In-School Suspension. The family of the student confirmed he was autistic, and required some extra attention as he was often bullied at the school by other students.

The officer’s report states that other students had stopped in the hallway to watch as the 18-year-old autistic student was refusing to report to ISS. The SRO gave the student an opportunity to enter the ISS classroom, but he refused, so the officer physically escorted him inside. A short time later, the SRO was called to the classroom, as it was reported the autistic student was ‘refusing directives’ at the school.

At this time, the SRO placed the student into physical custody. Upset with the situation, and being arrested inside a classroom, the student became upset attempted to spit on the officers. He then used his dead weight against being carried out of the classroom by the two Sheriff Office Deputies. As they placed him into the back of a patrol vehicle, the autistic student, likely still not understanding what was happening, began to kick at officers, who then placed his legs in a hobble restraint so he could not use them.

The report further details that the transporting officer had to stop his patrol vehicle in the parking lot of the high school, once on I-840, and again on I-40, all due to the student kicking the patrol vehicle’s door and windows. The officers charged the student with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, Class B and C misdemeanors, and transported him to jail where his family had to post a $3,000 bond.

The week prior to this incident at the school an officer from the Mt. Juliet Police department tased the autistic teen when he resisted arrest during an argument with a family member, as shown below from our partners at Scoop: Wilson.

We will update with additional information from the School and arresting agencies as it becomes available.

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