Tased Urbandale Teen Released, Under House Arrest After Fight at Johnston Theater
A 15-year-old Urbandale boy was sent home on Monday evening, his mother said. He is under house arrest for the time being.
An autistic 15-year-old has returned home after being held at a juvenile detention center for more than a week.
The Urbandale teen is accused of assaulting a Johnston police officer on May 4 at Wynnsong Theaters. The incident ended with the boy being shot twice with a Taser by a Polk County Sheriff's deputy.
Jeri Pilmer, the boy's mother, said her son was released to her home at 7 p.m. Monday.
The teen will remain on house arrest and cannot return to classes at Urbandale High School for the remainder of the school year.
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Each night this week, Jeri Pilmer has visited her 15-year-old son in a juvenile detention center.
The autistic teen from Urbandale was involved in an alleged assault of an officer on May 4 at Wynnsong Theaters. The incident ended with the boy being Tased by a Polk County Sheriff's deputy.
Pilmer said the family is just waiting for the boy to come home, but have yet to receive a timeline on when that could happen.
"He's got a very good family that loves him deeply and we just want him home," she said Friday. "The best Mother's Day present would be to have him home with me for Mother's Day. That would be my Mother's Day wish."
But for now, Pilmer and her daughter travel to the juvenile detention center to visit the teen for 30 minutes each night at 6 p.m.
She's allowed to call him on the phone once a day for seven minutes, while he can call her for seven minutes per day, as well.
But 44 minutes isn't enough.
On May 4, the teen was allowed to attend a movie screening of "The Avengers" with friends at Wynnsong Theater.
During the trip, a fight ensued with another teen over an allegedly stolen wallet.
A Johnston Police officer arrived shortly before 10 p.m. after a call from theater managers.
When officer Cale McClain arrived, theater managers told him the boy was "outrageous and irate".
Shortly after McClain approached the boy, the scuffle began.
Several witnesses, the boy and officer reported the teen attacked the officer.
Within minutes, McClain's right hand was broken in two places.
The altercation lasted nearly 10 minutes, and a majority was caught on a camera phone video, with three three more officers arriving to assist.
Eventually, a Polk County Sheriff's deputy used a Taser on the teen to lessen the threat of injury to the teen, officers and patrons at the packed movie theater.
A majority of the altercation was caught on video by a theater manager. Pilmer said police have refused to let her see the tape.
"We were under the impression there was going to be a parent there," she said of allowing her son to attend a crowded theater. "We would not have sent him to a large crowd like that without an adult on scene. That's just one of the ways we've always done it."
Pilmer described her son as a high-functioning autistic.
Simple changes to his routine can cause the boy to have an outburst.
"Last night (Thursday) the 6 p.m. slots were filled at the center to visit him, so we went at 6:45 p.m.," she said. "When we got there he wasn't himself more so than what he has been there. He didn't think we were coming to visit him. He was in a routine that we'd been there at 6 p.m. and it put his routine out which made him antsy."
Pilmer said she was contacted by her son's friend when the Johnston Police officer arrived to talk to the teen about a fight with another 15-year-old over an allegedly stolen wallet.
"The first thing I said was tell the police he's autistic," she said. "I could hear (him) in the background saying 'I want my mom, please call my mom'."
Pilmer said police refuse to talk to her on the phone or let her speak to her son.
She said they also refused to call the mobile crisis unit, which has a crisis intervention plan established for the teen.
"There's an 80- to 90-percent chance of us being able to calm him down over the phone," she said. "I would have explained to officers to talk to him and not scream at him. If you scream, it makes him more upset."
Pilmer said that while her son has had other outbursts that have involved the police, none were in public.
"Urbandale police have been great to him, they have allowed us to talk to him on the phone to calm him down," she said. "Just let him rock, if he tries to rock or pace or any of those things, they are his coping skills. Those are the skills he's learning through remedial services."
When Pilmer and her daughter, who provides respite care for the teen, arrived he was handcuffed alone, rocking on the curb.
Shortly after, the boy was taken to the juvenile detention center where he's been for more than a week.
Pilmer said the family will attend a court hearing on Monday, although they still don't have a lawyer.
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