Notice of claim filed against town, officers accused of breaking disabled teen's arm

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Updated: 2/02 1:52 pm

ROTTERDAM, N.Y.  – A Rotterdam family's lawyer said a surveillance video from a school bus shows Town Police breaking the arm of a special needs teen.

In October of 2013, Rotterdam Police responded to a call from Mohonasen transportation that a student would not get off the bus after the driver refused to transport him. Police say the 16 year old threatened the bus driver and on Friday, the department released video footage of the incident.

Police say they gave the teen a chance to cooperate for 30 minutes, while giving him warnings.

"Either you or one of us might get hurt and we don't want to do that," said one police officer in the video.

A notice of claim against the town was sent by the teen's attorney, Kevin Luibrand. He said officers violated the teenager's rights and were negligent.

The claim stated "When the boy did not respond quick enough for the police, which is typical for the boy's type of condition, rather than call mental health professionals or wait for the EMTs, the police told the boy that they were going to ‘hog-tie' him."

On the video surveillance, one police officer can be heard saying "Well if it's my choice I don't want to have to hog-tie you and fight with you but I will if I have to that's what I get paid for."

Officers then attempted to remove the teen from the bus. Luibrand said the teen suffered from a fractured humerus as the officers were trying to remove him from the bus.

"With clearly excessive force, exerted enough force to snap one of the strongest bones in his body. That's not how mentally handicapped people are to be treated," said Luibrand.

The police department said officers followed protocol. The teen was charged with obstructing.

In the claim against the Town of Rotterdam, the teenager's attorney said he suffered physical and emotional pain in excess of $1 million.

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