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Claremont police arrest teen while leaving CHS

Claremont police arrested a 14-year-old boy after he attempted to leave the high school Monday morning. Officers responded to the school around 10:40 a.m. regarding a student who was seen walking off campus, according to Lt. Mike Ciszek of the Claremont Police Department. Police said that as one officer approached the boy, he ran away.

The boy allegedly made a threatening statement to the officer and police say he hit the officer on the top of the head, which led the officer to tackle him to the ground.

“On third contact, [the officer] tried grabbing him, [the boy] told the officer he was going to harm him and hit him,” Lt. Ciszek explained.

A video taken by a resident and provided to the COURIER shows what happened after the teen was brought to the ground near the intersection of Mountain Avenue and Scripps Drive. The resident explained that the incident was recorded because the police response seemed like “overkill.”

The officer is seen laying on top of the boy while waiting for backup. The boy, who is heard sobbing and crying, said, “I didn’t do anything. I didn’t commit a felony.”

The officer repeatedly tells the boy to relax, and at the beginning of the two-minute video says, “You started a fight on me, you can’t do that.”

“I didn’t do anything, I’m just trying to go home,” the boy later says. “My stomach hurts and you guys won’t let me do s**t. What do I have to do to just go home? You guys won’t let me go home.”

Another officer arrives to assist and a helicopter flying overhead can be heard on the video. The boy struggles with the officers as his hands are placed behind his back, at which point the boy tries to stand up.

“I’m not going to do anything I don’t want to do. Please don’t do this,” the boy pleads.?“My face! My face!”

During the scuffle, the first officer pushes the boy’s face into the dirt as they force his hands behind his back.

“What the hell did I do? Please don’t put those on me, please,” the boy can be heard saying. “I didn’t kill nobody, I didn’t do s**t.”

“Relax, okay?” One of the officers says. “Calm down, I need you to calm down.”

The boy was arrested on suspicion of assault on an officer and transported to Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall in Downey, Lt. Ciszek said. Police also reportedly found marijuana in his backpack during a search.

Chief Shelly Vander Veen said the matter is under review.

“We conduct use of force review board on any use of force,” she said. “No matter what the severity is, the purpose of the review is to determine if all policies were followed and if there is need for additional training. At this time, I’m obtaining all the information necessary to complete a thorough review of the situation.”

CUSD Assistant Superintendent of Student Services Mike Bateman said police were called due to what the school described only as “safety and welfare concerns” regarding the student.

“The kid took off of school grounds without permission,” Mr. Bateman said. “[Claremont High School] asked for assistance.”

—Matthew Bramlett

news@claremont-courier.com

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