We are floundering, The Boy and I. He remains in detention - his hearing is Wednesday morning. I've spent part of the day on the phone, trying to find someone who can help me get him in a hospital.
The best I've gotten is his Juvenile Officer saying that he'll make some calls - but no promises.
That's something, the glow of a single penlight in the darkness.
His service coordinator has offered to attend the hearing with me, and my neighbor Marcia is giving me a ride, so I don't have to chance a breakdown in the Death Machine.
I had a lengthy conversation with the detective who arrested The Boy.
Running away is not a crime, but struggling to get cuffs on is Resisting Arrest.
The Boy is his first dealing with a person with Asperger's in his 21 years on the force.
I suggested training.
When I asked about the mace, he admitted that he was the one who administered the mace...because he couldn't get The Boy cuffed (he was on the ground, facedown, his arms under him).
It is their policy to use mace if they are unable to cuff someone. It's step two - "the last resort".
Let's do the math:
1 plus zero equals mace. Case closed.
Doesn't last resort mean that every other possibility has been tried and/or ruled out?
Not in this bumfuck little town.
Ahem, pardon my French.
He said he felt bad about it, even Sunday evening.
I bet The Boy felt worse.
All the stuff I've read online about police-grade mace is that it is effective about 15 feet from the potential suspect.
Let's get out the tape measure, shall we?
The Boy on the ground - let's call that zero feet.
Detective, trying to cuff The Boy's hands behind his back - let's be generous and say The Boy's butt is two feet off the ground.
Total distance from The Boy's butt to his face, which is planted into the ground in the struggle? Let's say three feet.
Effectiveness of mace from that distance? 100%
No wonder when I saw him several hours later, his face looked sunburned and his uncuffed hand (which went in front of his face) was tingling. The effects are supposed to last 30 - 45 minutes.
I asked why The Boy wasn't transported to a mental hospital when our local hospital recommended it.
It's not their policy. "That's above my paygrade", he said. Literally. "Maybe the hospital needs to review THEIR policy."
He said that once The Boy was in their little jail, and had taken a pill and calmed down, that he was a nice boy. Smart and funny, too.
But while that can of mace was in his hand, I can only assume that the detective saw a hardened criminal that must be stopped, at all costs.
Let's look at the police report card here:
Handcuffing though no crime has been committed: A+
Macing a mentally ill juvenile: A+
Failing to follow the recommendations of medical personnel: A+
Getting The Boy into detention: A+++++
I say we give that man a raise. Maybe then he and his police force can get their heads out of their asses and join the 21st century.
I spoke to The Boy in his allotted five-minute phone call. He was practically hysterical, it was hard to understand him.
"Mom, I'm seeing things that aren't real, and hearing things that aren't real. I am losing my mind."
"Jiminy Cricket woke me up. When I hear the sound of the doors closing, I am in Horrible High School again" (not it's real name, but it fits).
"You have to get me out of here. Oh, I have a public defender, and it's a woman."
I told The Boy to tell the staff about his hallucinations. I also called them.
A woman whose voice indicated that she is dead inside told me that they are keeping an eye on him. And no, there was nothing that she could do about the lack of medical care. The doctor will be in on Wednesday evening.
Her final comment? "It's nice to hear from a parent who cares."
Speaking of (step)parents, I spoke to The Mister this evening on the phone (he's out of town for work). I told him when the hearing is, and got an "uh huh" in response. I felt like I was intruding on his free time.
When I told him what the detective said about the mace being the option of last resort, another "uh huh". I asked why he didn't find the detective's comment to be disturbing.
His response? "He needed to be maced. He needs to learn" - that was when I said "Gotta go" and hung up rather forcefully.
Like I need THAT. I had already had my fill of phone crap for the day.
I must say, if our conversation indicates an attitude trend, it does not bode well for the longevity of our relationship. If I had a job, I'd be packing right about now.