Skooter reports 08/08/13
A man was not arrested after he allegedly assaulted a 3-year-old boy at an Aberdeen playground, the mother was so furious of the shocking incident.
It turned out that the suspect is developmentally disabled, and prosecutors say that presents a challenging legal issue.
At the park Tuesday, the victim Matthew Svoboda was playing when things got ugly. A 27-year-old man started attacking the child without warning, the boy's family claimed.
The guy pulled him off that with one arm and then he started hitting him, either with a closed fist or an open hand, Matthew's brother, Toby Svoboda said. The guy came over and grabbed Matthew by the legs to get him closer and started socking him, the boy’s mother Isabel Svoboda said. Not until after they pushed the man away from the boy the family realized the guy was autistic visiting the park with a group of other developmentally disabled adults.
The man was placed back in the van by the three people supervising the group. Police arrived soon after, but they didn’t arrest the autistic man instead, they gave him a citation for fourth degree assault, which means a misdemeanor.
After it was over, he was sent back in the park to let him play again. Mother Isabel was upset of the situation.
What is more upsetting to the family is that the city prosecutor will possibly dismiss the case. The man was not arrested based on the defendant having autism and having the mental capabilities of a 5-year-old, deputy city attorney Forest Worgum said.
The best solution, the city officials say, is for the group home to keep tighter control of its clients and try to ensure the man is better supervised.
Officials from The Harbor Alternative Living Association and the State Department of Developmental Disabilities would not comment on the attack.
Matthew wasn't seriously injured in the attack.