Family asks county for damages after 8-year-old daughter is arrested - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Family asks county for damages after 8-year-old daughter is arrested

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Evelyn says she was put in handcuffs Evelyn says she was put in handcuffs
SANDPOINT, Idaho. - The family of an 8-year-old girl with an autism disorder who was arrested at school in January has filed a tort claim asking Bonner County officials to pay damages for the incident.

In their claim, Charles and Spring Towry ask for more than $500,000 in damages. The school district and county have 180 days to settle or reject the claim and risk a lawsuit.

The Ponderay couple's third-grade daughter, Evelyn, has Asperger syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder.

 The incident happened January 9 of this year when Evelyn was told she could not wear her 'special' jacket in class.

According to school officials, Evelyn refused to obey and started acting out, which she does from time to time because of her syndrome.

Her father, Charles Towry, says her actions can be alarming, but have never been violent. When teachers were unable to restrain the girl, the school called law enforcement, an action that her father found unbelievable.

She was arrested on suspicion of battery at Kootenai Elementary School and the district superintendent said she assaulted staff members.

The Bonner County Prosecutor's Office initially pressed battery charges against Evelyn, but those charges have since been dropped.

The child was handcuffed and taken to the county's juvenile lockup, where she was released to her parents.

Immediately following the incident, Evelyn's father did indicate he would be pursuing legal action and said when it comes to inappropriate conduct, it's quite clear who is in the wrong.

The school also says they agreed with Evelyn's parents about a safety plan they had in place; one that would allow for a student's arrest if it jeopardized the other student's safety. Evelyn's parents say they don't remember talking about any plan.

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