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Westerville Mom Plans To Sue Over Children’s Arrest
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The mother of two Westerville school children says school officials and police went too far in disciplining her kids.
Tonya Mitchell says police handcuffed her seven- and eight-year old children and took them to jail.
Now she plans to sue police and the district, claiming civil rights violations.
7-year-old Michelle Mitchell and 8-year-old Mikeal Mitchell were arrested after an October 19th incident on a Westerville school bus. A police report says Mikeal was taunting other bus passengers then refused to obey the driver’s instructions.
The report says both brother and sister were taken to the principal’s office, where they called the police officer a “mother ‘f’er” and threatened to punch the principal. Police handcuffed the two, and they were taken to jail. Attorney Byron L. Potts says it’s clear that their civil rights were violated.
“This is unconscionable to have these two young people arrested in this situation,” Potts said. “Even if you say they were wrong, to the point of having them arrested and handcuffed, is traumatizing them. Look how young they are. That’s just overdoing!”
The Franklin county juvenile court refused to prosecute the children for disorderly conduct, citing their young ages.
Neither the Westerville police department nor the Westerville City Schools would comment because of the possible lawsuit. Mother Tonya Mitchell also claims wrongful imprisonment and excessive force.