HOWELL, Michigan (FOX 2) – A teenager with autism was beaten up at Howell High School – and a passerby recorded it on his phone. The video is now evidence in a criminal investigation. We want to warn you, the video is heartbreaking to watch.
In the video, you can hear the autistic teenager screaming in pain as two classmates repeatedly punch and kick him and then steal his shoes. At this point the video ends.
“That poor kid,” Anne Richardson said. “That’s all I could think of, how horribly he went through it and what trauma it was inflicted on him.
“I have no idea why anyone would do this.
Richardson heads ARC Livingston County, a disability rights advocacy group. She is also the mother of an autistic child.
The beating took place on the Howell High School campus last week. The suspects cooperated with the police investigation, we are told.
The investigators file a complaint for assault. This request is currently under review by the Livingston County District Attorney’s Office.
“We still have a lot of work to do to make sure people are accepted and tolerated,” she said.
Richardson says Howell Schools actually have a good reputation for advocating for children with disabilities.
“I know there is a good job done at Howell High School for years,” she said, mentioning their peer-to-peer and unified athletic programs.
Howell Schools issued a statement saying:
“As a school and a district, we do not condone this type of behavior. The school has initiated the disciplinary process according to the district student manual, and law enforcement is involved.”
Richardson says sometimes these kids are vulnerable because they trust too much.
“Our hearts are with this boy and his family,” she said.
It is not known whether the teenage abusers will be charged as adults or as children. He belongs to the Livingston County District Attorney’s Office David Reader.