Autistic boy, 9, due in court for breaking car window

MIDDLETOWN, OH (FOX19) - The parents of a 9-year-old autistic boy from Middletown are very upset after their son was charged with criminal damaging, a misdemeanor.

Zach Ryan, a student at Amanda Elementary School, will have to be in a Butler County Juvenile Court room in Hamilton on Sept. 8.

"To have to take him into a court room and to know what that's going to do to him is going to be traumatizing," said his father, Nick Ryan.

The incident happened on Friday at around 1:45 p.m.

"Let's take a 9-year-old child with disabilities and let's throw him in front of a judge? What does that show anybody?" Ryan said.

Court records show the 9-year-old is accused of breaking the side mirrors off of two cars.

His father, who said his son has behavioral issues, was upset when he learned a game he use to play was no longer allowed.

The citation reads, "Juvenile ran from Amanda School. He was being escorted  back to school by the principal and teacher when the juvenile broke the driver's side mirror and passenger side mirror."

"You're going to ruin my kids life," said Priscilla Ryan, Zach's mom. "It's awful, who would do that to a child. Even if the kid hit me, I wouldn't press charges against an elementary kid," she said weeping. "Now he's going to be labeled a criminal until he's 18."

Middletown superintendent Samuel R. Ison's assistant says they were unaware of the situation. When they called over to the school they were told the incident is under investigation.

Ison as of Tuesday, had not seen a report.

The teacher who is listed as the complainant on the court records is Beth Hayes. She drives a 2003 Chevy Monte Carlo.

Ryan claims he called General Motors to order the parts to have her car fixed, but charges went forward anyway.

The court document reads the family was served on Tuesday. Officials say the other teacher who had her car damaged did not file charges.

"He's already got it hard enough being disabled. He struggles everyday with everything. He goes to school and that's a struggle. Now you're going to put more than just a label on him now you're going to give him a criminal record," Priscilla said.

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