A police officer in California has been caught on camera throwing a teenager with autism to the ground and punching him in the face.
The incident was caught on camera by a neighbor’s security camera in Vacaville, California, on Wednesday.
The video from across the street shows an officer speaking to Preston Wolf, 17, as he sits down on the side of the street.
The officer then throws a scooter away from Preston and appears to yell at him.
Preston slides backwards a bit, then gets up and starts to run, leading the officer to pick up Preston and body slam him to the street.
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A video shows a Vacaville police officer throwing a teen with autism to the ground
Another video from the same camera shows Preston struggling with the officer as the cop demands Preston put his hands behind his back.
The police officer then punches Preston in the face as the two continue to struggle.
Adam Wolf, Preston’s father, shared the footage of the incident on Facebook on Thursday.
He says his son has both autism and ADHD, and as someone who acts younger than his age.
Police say the officer was unaware of Preston’s special needs.
The video, which was recorded by a neighbor, starts with the officer approaching Preston Wolf
Wolf then sits down, seemingly complying with an order from the police officer
Adam wrote: ‘On April 21st at approximately 2:30 pm Preston was Aggressively approached by a Vacaville, California police officer
‘The officer screamed at him to sit down which he did. The officer then moved Aggressively toward my son, threw his scooter and got in his face.
‘My son became fearful, as would any child with Autism. The officer went to touch Preston, at which point Preston moves away. At this point, Preston was confused and afraid and moves away from the officer even more.
‘At that point the officer felt it was a good idea to THROW Preston to the ground.
‘Once on the ground, the officer climbed on top of Preston and PUNCHED him in the face.’
Preston’s father added that Preston implored the officers to call his parents during the incident and may never trust a police officer again.
‘I am pro police, but I am not pro ABUSE! This individual and department must be held accountable for their actions,’ Adam added.
Preston then begins to run away from the cop, which leads to the body slam and punch
The Vacaville Police Department filled in details after the incident about what led to the officer’s actions.
They said the officer arrived around 2:30pm in response to an alleged assault with a pipe, according to a statement given to the Vacaville Reporter.
They first found a 16-year-old boy suffering from minor injuries who refused medical treatment.
Police say they then came across Preston, who sat when asked, but then resisted when being cuffed, which led to him being thrown to the ground.
Preston was detained for about an hour before being cited for suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest.
The 16-year-old involved in the incident and his family chose not to press charges against Preston.
Wolf told KTXL that the other boy was attempting to pick a fight with Preston while he was playing by a nearby creek. Preston then attempted to defend himself.
‘My son picked up a piece of metal or a metal pole off of the ground to defend himself and I was told that an older gentleman intervene,’ Wolf said.
Preston then allegedly went to go play with a neighbor, completely unaware that police were searching for him.
The arresting officer, who has not been identified remains on-duty as an investigation into the incident takes place.
It’s not clear yet if the police officer in the incident will face disciplinary action
‘We understand the video posted on social media can appear very disturbing,’ said Acting Police Chief Ian Schmutzler.
‘When we receive a 911 call involving an assault with a deadly weapon and potential stabbing, we respond immediately to ensure we keep those in the vicinity safe.’
In another statement released via Facebook on Friday, the Vacaville Police Department said they were still investigating the incident.
‘We are scouring the dispatch recordings, body-worn camera video, Ring camera video, and any other visual or audio evidence we can find,’ the statement from Schmutzler said. ‘I’m working with the leadership within the City of Vacaville and there will be more information provided very soon.’
Schmutzler also shared that members of the police department visited the Wolf family on Thursday to discuss the incident.
Josh Bartholomew, the neighbor who recorded the incident on his Ring camera, criticized the police when speaking to KTXL.
‘Yeah, it was the most horrendous thing I’ve ever witnessed from a police officer in my city,’ Bartholomew said.
He says he tried to intervene by telling officers about Preston’s special needs, to no avail.
As for Wolf, he’s concerned about the treatment of other children like his son in the future.
‘NO child, disability or not, deserves to be treated like this,’ he wrote on Facebook.