By Rick Sallinger
ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– The Adams County District Attorney says his office is declining to file charges in the case of an 11-year-old boy with autism, who was arrested after having an emotional meltdown in school.
Sam Costa is autistic and very intelligent.
He was attending Bennett Middle School when he became upset in February. His mother Danielle Costa says he began to fight while being restrained by school personnel.
“While it’s not okay for him to have those behaviors, it’s not unexpected,” she told CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger.
The police report states he was mad after losing at chess. He punched and swore at those who restrained him.
Sam was given a municipal arrest summons for interference with education and assault charges. They were later dropped.
But months later, Sam had moved to a new school and neighborhood only to learn the Adams District Attorney Office was ordering him into what is called a diversion program to include treatment.
District Attorney Dave Young says they only recently received the additional information about Sam, “There is nothing in the sheriff’s report to indicate he had autism.”
It was learned that Sam was already receiving attention through programs. The case of Sam Costa was declined.
Young pointed out that those diagnosed with autism can still be charged with a crime.
Danielle Costa is glad the matter has been finally resolved, “It’s still frustrating that this was ever allowed to have happened in the first place.”
The Bennett School District said it could not comment because it involved student and personnel issues.