Members of the Jewish community in Monsey, New York are up in arms over the alleged mistreatment of a three-year-old haredi child who was reportedly thrown into the back of a police squad car after being left outside of his home.
The incident occurred last Friday afternoon when the three-and-a-half-year-old boy returned home from summer school to find that the doors of his home were locked and no one appeared to be home.
A non-Jewish neighbor witnessed the boy sitting outside of the front door, and notified police.
Before a police squad car arrived, another neighbor, a member of the haredi community, took the boy inside his home to wait for his parents to arrive.
When the police came, they spoke with the neighbor who had taken the child in to wait for his parents, then left the scene, leaving the child in the care of the neighbor.
Shortly thereafter, however, the officers returned, saying that they were obliged to take the child to a local police station to wait for his parents, and that they could not leave him in the neighbor’s custody.
Witnesses say that the child was frightened by the prospect of leaving his neighborhood with the officers, and that the officers threw the boy into the back of the squad car.
“The boy was thrown like a sack of potatoes into the car,” a witness said, Behadrei Haredim reported.
After waiting at the station for roughly an hour, a relative came to pick up the boy and take him home.
The boy’s family and witnesses claim the police mistreated the child, throwing him into the back of the police care with no apparent concern for his well-being, and that no steps were taken to calm the terrified boy, who was so frightened that he wet his pants during the drive to the station.
Outraged members of the local haredi community blasted the officers’ behavior, and organized a protest, scheduled for 4:00 p.m. local time Sunday.
“Dear Monsey residents,” organizers wrote in their announcement, “we all know what happened last Friday, when two officers dragged a three-and-a-half-year-old boy to a police car with no legal right! Dragged him from the house [of a neighbor] to a police car, with the child in shock [causing him] to wet himself in the police car.
That is outrageous! This is absolutely anti-Semitic, they had no legal right to take a person from inside a home without a warrant or a court order!”