An Idaho woman says police smashed her 12-year-old son’s face into a parked car after she notified officers that she had found the boy after she had reported him missing.
Amy Olzak said she reported her son missing March 13, and a friend located the boy after she and others had searched for most of the day, reported KIDK-TV.
Olzak said she called dispatchers to report the boy was home and safe, and officers came to the family’s home to investigate.
She spoke to one of the Idaho Falls officers about the case, and Olzak said the officer then went to question her son.
“I just wanted them to be aware,” Olzak said. “They came over. I talked to an officer for a minute and he walked over to my son. Then he put my son’s hand behind his back and, like, lifted him up in the air and slammed his face into the trunk of a car.”
Courtney Beck, who owns the car, said the officer had “absolutely no reason” to use violence against the boy.
“He put his arm behind his back and his head into the back of trunk hard enough that it chipped his tooth, and then placed him under arrest,”said Beck.
The boy suffered a chipped tooth and facial injuries in the incident.
Olzak said she had to call for another officer before police offered medical assistance to her bleeding son, who was taken to a hospital in handcuffs.
Police told the TV station that the boy had been reported as a runaway, and they said Idaho law allows police to arrest and detain runaway children and then release them later to family members.
Capt. Royce Clements, of Idaho Falls police, said the incident was under investigation by internal affairs before determining whether the officer will face disciplinary action.
Olzak said she was never notified of any charges against her son, and she has hired an attorney — who filed a tort claim last week alleging that police used unnecessary and excessive force against the child.
Idaho Falls does not require officers to wear body cameras, so the incident was not recorded on video.
Watch this video report, including a reenactment, posted online by KIDK-TV: