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January 5, 2000
Web posted at: 10:08 AM EST (1508 GMT)
FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (AP) -- A 9-year-old boy was handcuffed by a
sheriff's deputy who spotted him riding his bicycle without a helmet after
officials say the deputy told him to wear one.
Palm Beach County sheriff's officials say the incident, captured on
Saturday, does not warrant an internal investigation and are backing the
The video -- taken Saturday by a private investigator working on an
case -- shows the deputy searching through the boy's backpack and pockets
the handcuffed child sits on the cement.
The boy is also pushed down on the ground twice as he tries to stand.
Sheriff's spokesman Paul Miller said Deputy Ken Bachman had told the boy
walk his bike home and get a helmet, which the law here requires for
16 and under.
But Bachman, patrolling on bicycle, later spotted the child still riding
Miller said the boy did a U-turn and sped away, and Bachman, himself on a
"The deputy had to catch up to him and hold him because he didn't know
circumstances were," Miller said. "Now he started thinking maybe the bike
Sheriff's officials say that when Bachman caught up, the child ran away
this time on foot. Because Bachman didn't have a patrol car to hold him,
decided to use handcuffs, Miller said.
The boy, who was not arrested, was given two $24 tickets -- and a free
His mother, Althea Morgan, wants sheriff's officials to say the situation
"All of this didn't have to happen for one helmet," she said.
Attorney Valentin Rodriguez, representing Morgan, said Bachman's actions
violated the boy's rights.
"You don't get to handcuff someone and push them to the ground for a civil
infraction," Rodriguez said.
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