Louis Grahai, a twenty-year-old with severe autism and the mental ability of a four-year-old, is renowned in his community as a kind and loving guy who has never harmed anybody. However, when he strayed too far from his house last weekend, those neighbours were unfamiliar with him, and his towering height and peculiar conduct prompted a 911 call and subsequent excessive force incident by the Eustis police department.
"Everyone adores Lou." "He's lovely, and everyone knows he's not going to do anything bad," his mother, Roberta Crew, said.
According to Police Chief Craig Capri, "the perfect storm" occurred last Saturday when Grahai allegedly became disoriented in another area and attempted to enter a residence that was not his. The resident was understandably concerned and called 911 to report the event.
"I'm not sure he was smashing it... "However, I heard the door handle sway," she said to authorities.
When police arrived on the site, they immediately located Grahai, who matched the description provided by the caller to 911 dispatchers. When the police approached Grahai, they were unaware he was profoundly autistic, and when they started shouting orders, he remained silent.
Grahai, whose autism is severe enough that he requires diapers and is unable to communicate, was undoubtedly terrified and perplexed when cops started screaming commands at him. He was barefoot and wearing a tank top and posed no danger to the police, but the force was increased rapidly.
Grahai was tasered in the back of the head as he tried to walk away, forcing him to collapse face-first onto the pavement. The video is difficult to see as force is continually increased despite Grahai's obvious handicap.
Officers are heard yelling, "Get on your stomach, guy," on bodycam video. "I'm not going to do that again; I'm not going to go on your stomach and turn over. Keep your hands behind your back. Make a fist with your hands behind your back."
However, since Grahai had no understanding of why these guys were torturing him and had no idea how to comply with their orders, they tasered him repeatedly.
Officers eventually arrest Grahai, and his mother comes to find her son bleeding from his ears on the street. Police quickly inform her that he was apprehended "breaking into a house," despite the fact that he was not.
"And I saw my infant on the ground, surrounded by Tasers. "He has one Taser in the back of his neck, one in the side of his neck, and his eardrum is bleeding," Crew said.
The department is defending the officers' conduct, saying that police used the appropriate amount of force since they were unaware they were dealing with a profoundly autistic individual. According to the chief, the family is fortunate it wasn't worse.
"De-escalation was utilised in this instance, based on the information available at the time. "I doubt they would have used force if they knew this was a seriously autistic individual," he added. "I believe they did everything correctly. It might have been much worse. Thank God that wasn't the case."
Crew disputes the police account and claims they committed every error, including blasting him in the head and neck with the taser. According to her, her kid now suffers from neck and ear injuries.
"He is silent. I'm at a loss for words. He can't even scream or cry out to let you know you're harming him," Crew said. "If he didn't get down when you said he should. What are your future plans? Assault him. That is my greatest fear, that anything will happen to him."