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OC Deputies Taser, Cuff 15-Year-Old Autistic Boy

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Taylor Karras was reported missing by his mother yesterday, after running away from a Westminster social services facility where he was receiving therapy for autism.

Around 9:30 p.m., the 15-year-old boy was found just a block from his North Tustin home. Orange County Sheriff's deputies spotted Karras pushing a shopping cart in the street, chased him on foot, Tasered him once, and handcuffed him.

Only when a passing neighbor recognized Karras did the authorities realize he had been reported missing nearly ten hours earlier and that he had a disability.

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Taylor Karras's mother, Doris, said she saw the entire incident and felt the police action was excessive. "He had been stopping at bus stops and reading the maps to find his way home," she said.

OC Sheriff Lt. Hal Brotheim claimed that Karras took off running through traffic when the deputies approached him. Traffic in unincorporated North Tustin at 9:30 p.m. on a Monday night.

Photo by Willie Stark via flickr.