Local Autistic Child Struck, Handcuffed by Police

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JONESVILLE -- Jonesville's Eli Kolodie is eight years old.

He was diagnosed more than a year ago with autism.

"He has problems with interpersonal skills," his mother Kristen explains to News 10. "He can't moderate his own emotions very well."

He's in a special education program at Williams Elementary in Jonesville.

And on Tuesday, little Eli got the scare of his life.

After a couple of his classmates got into an altercation on the playground -- he took off running and managed to temporarily escape school officials.

School officials called 911.

The Jonesville chief of police arrived -- and what happened next has left Kristen outraged.

"His exact words were, 'I dragged him by his arms and stuffed him in the backseat of the car,'" Kristen says, as she recounts her conversation Wednesday with the police chief.

"He kept kicking the back seat of the cop car, so the police officer, the chief of police, opened the car door, whacked him on his ankles with his baton .... He had not calmed down, so the police officer opened the car door again and whacked him on his shin," Kristen says.

After he calmed down, Eli was led back into the school -- in handcuffs

The police chief told News 10 over the phone on Thursday that he would've responded differently had he known Eli is autistic.

Village Manager Adam Smith, meanwhile, released a statement to News 10, saying, "The complaint is currently under review. I have solicited the Michigan State Police to conduct an independent evaluation of the situation."

As for Kristen, she'll never understand how this could've happened.

She'll be meeting with school officials Friday to figure out how to prevent this from happening again.

Stay with News 10 and WILX.com for updates on the investigation.

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