TORONTO, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Toronto police are defending two officers' decision to briefly handcuff a 9-year-old autistic boy who was on a rampage at a daycare center.
Two workers at the Fairbank Memorial Day Care Center made separate 911 emergency calls July 28, saying they couldn't control the boy who was throwing tables and chairs, the Toronto Sun reported.
The boy used chairs to barricade himself in a classroom, police said. The first lone officer to arrive called for backup and they kicked the door in.
The officers said the boy was throwing paint around, spokesman Constable Victor Kwong said. The child was told to lie on the ground and then handcuffed, he said.
Officers said the boy quieted down and was talking about his hobbies when the police mobile crisis intervention team arrived and the handcuffs were removed.
The boy told them other children had been bullying him during lunch hour, which can spark outbursts in children with Asperger's syndrome, said psychologist Glenn Rampton, the chief of Kerry's Place Autism Services.
"Why would two great big policemen need to put handcuffs on a 9-year-old when they should be fully capable of calming that child down?" he said.
Regardless, Kwong said officers did everything right.
"We don't like to handcuff children but safety is the No. 1 issue here and if it's called for, we will do it," he said.