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Terri Mauro

Adult With Asperger's Charged With Felony Assault

By July 2, 2009

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Recently, there was a flurry of stories in the news of young people on the autism spectrum having frightening run-ins with police who misinterpreted their behaviors as aggressive. Right now, on the forum, a parent has another terrifying tale to tell, and seeks help in putting together a defense before a Grand Jury hearing on July 7. Writes Aspie21:

"My 21 year old son has Asperger's; he was in a serious auto accident in which he received a concussion. The police and medic arrived as he was walking from the accident; he was staring into space and when they approached to help him he ran away into traffic (almost hit by auto) then he fought them for a couple of minutes until they finally subdued him. No evidence of drugs or alcohol. He was arrested for FELONY assault on a police officer. Our defense is that the trauma to the brain (HOSPITAL VISIT CONFIRMED CONCUSSION) and the anxiety of the incident basically caused a 'neurological overload' that triggered this behavior. He has no memory of the incident; only driving down the road then finding himself in back seat of patrol car with hand and feet cuffs. He has never been in trouble of any kind. Do you have any research of any kind that would show a correlation of brain injury to aggressive behavior in someone with Asperger's? ...even if it is only what you have learned or experienced."

This desperate parent is seeking stories to support the contention that "his actions were not intentional, voluntary, that he was not aware of his actions nor that they would/could harm anyone, that the anxieties of the wreck, the presence of two large uniformed people frightened him, could not have been able to discern if they were there to help him or harm him, flight or fight would be a normal response for as Aspie following traumatic brain injury and trauma of pain, sounds, people of the wreck." If your child has been in a similar situation, or you know of news reports or research studies that describe such behavior in someone on the autism spectrum, please read this parent's post and offer your help and support.

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October 29, 2009 at 5:53 am
(1) John says:

Unfortunately I too have a similar story.

I’ve come to understand a little more about how the Aspergers mind works by reading “The complete guide to Asperger’s syndrome”, By Tony Attwood. I think the truly sad aspect of law enforcement is that they are not trained to understand how to manage these situations and they are causing problems because of their own ignorance. I’m very sad that the law enforcement system is causing more problems than they realize for sufferers of Aspergers.

March 31, 2011 at 7:46 am
(2) Patrick says:

found this while looking for info on what to expect for my case, i’m a 20 yr old aspie, recently i was drunk at around 3am, no taxi’s would take me home as i was too far gone. from what ive been told its sounds as if the police offered to give me a lift, i climbed into the van and all i remember is sitting down, seeing a body coming towards me and without time to think about what i was doing i was in fight mode and punched him in the chest!! i dont remember anything past that point but i knew what had happened when i woke up in the cells!! i had punched a police officer who was trying to help me!!! i just wanna kno…is prison the most likely punishment and what should i expect once in there???

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