16-year-old special needs patient dies in Jefferson Parish custody

Autistic Teen Dies in Custody

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -A 16-year-old special needs patient died in the custody of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. It happened Sunday afternoon after the teen and his family spent time inside Laser Tag at Veterans and Power Boulevards.

Deputies say they responded to a call for help accusing the 16 year old of violently attacking his 53-year-old father. Investigators say when they arrived, they noticed the father had multiple bite wounds, including some to his face.

As deputies arrested the 16 year old, they say he remained violent and bit the arresting officer.

At some point, during the arrest, investigators say the teen became unresponsive and he was rushed to the hospital where the teen died.

People who knew the 16 year old said, he attended Destrehan High School. It’s unclear the exact cause of the boy’s death or what exactly unfolded inside Laser Tag, but the General Manager, Ricky Dillard, became emotional as he talked about the 16 year old.

He said, “He was a long-time guest and probably our number one customer. The staff had a personal relationship with him and his family.” He went on to say he was a special needs teenager. Dillard said, “He loved being at our facility, riding our bumper cars and playing the bowling alley game. We made it a point to engage him because it was a learning experience.”

Dillard said, “Our hearts go out to his family and everyone affected. This locally owned business is feeling the aftershocks of the incident. I wish I could hug his parents right now.”

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office says more information will be released tomorrow after an autopsy is performed on the teen.

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