Reginald Latson loves to walk.
"He'll walk five or 10 miles, it's nothing to him. Sometimes he walks five miles just to grab a bite to eat at Chili's," says his mother, Lisa. "Walking is his release."
Neli, as his family calls him, is 18 and has Asperger's, a mild form of autism. Three Mondays ago, he rose early and left home without telling his mother. "When I entered his room at 6:30 am and didn't see him, I assumed he had gone for another walk," she says. It was a school day.
Four hours later Stafford authorities had ordered a lock down for eight schools, and Neli was in police custody, facing one count of malicious wounding of a law enforcement officer, one count of assault and battery of a law enforcement officer, and one count of knowingly disarming a police officer in performance of his official duties. The cascade of missteps that led to the arrest suggest a combination of public racial profiling and the over reaction of law enforcement officers who are unfamiliar with autistic behavior.
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By the way Lisa Alexander has set up a petition in order to get more media attention and put out what happened to him on a larger scale. The local news reports which have been printed thus far have come from the police.