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Busted Biker!



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 
Florida
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 
videotaped
Saturday, does not warrant an internal investigation and are backing the 
deputy.

The video -- taken Saturday by a private investigator working on an 
unrelated
case -- shows the deputy searching through the boy's backpack and pockets 
while
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 
once to
  walk his bike home and get a helmet, which the law here requires for 
cyclists
16 and under.

But Bachman, patrolling on bicycle, later spotted the child still riding 
without
  headgear.

Miller said the boy did a U-turn and sped away, and Bachman, himself on a 
bike,
gave chase.

"The deputy had to catch up to him and hold him because he didn't know 
what the
circumstances were," Miller said. "Now he started thinking maybe the bike 
was
stolen."

Sheriff's officials say that when Bachman caught up, the child ran away 
again,
this time on foot. Because Bachman didn't have a patrol car to hold him, 
he
decided to use handcuffs, Miller said.

The boy, who was not arrested, was given two $24 tickets -- and a free 
helmet.

His mother, Althea Morgan, wants sheriff's officials to say the situation 
was
handled poorly.

"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.

Copyright 2000 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material 
may not
be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.