A 7-year-old New York City boy's family has filed a $250 million claim against police and the city after saying he was handcuffed and falsely accused of stealing $5 from a schoolmate.
Wilson Reyes' mother, Frances Mendez, told the New York Post that her son was "interrogated" for 10 hours on Dec. 4.
"My son was crying, 'Mommy, it wasn't me! Mommy, it wasn't me!' I never imagined the cops could do that to a child. We're traumatized," Mendez said.
The conflict stemmed over $5 that had been dropped on the ground near where Wilson and some other boys were. One of the students picked up the money, and Wilson was accused of taking it, leading to a physical altercation between him and another child, the Post reported.
The court claim, filed by attorney Jack Yankowitz, said Wilson was handcuffed and held in a room at P.S. X114 in the Bronx for four hours, then taken to a precinct house. He allegedly was held there for six hours and charged with robbery.
Mendez told the paper she initially wasn't allowed to see her son when she went to the station. When she did get to him, she saw that he had been cuffed by one wrist to the wall, and she snapped a photo of him.
"My sister and I started crying when we saw him," Mendez said.
The Post said the city dropped the charge Dec. 26. A spokesman declined to comment.
School officials say it occurred off school grounds. Police had no immediate comment.