In Idaho Falls, Idaho, Amy Olzak called 9-1-1 to report her 12-year-old son was missing on March 13. After Olzak and her friends had spent all day looking for her missing son, they were fortunate to find the child safe and unharmed.
However, when Olzak contacted police to let them know that she’d found her son, they decided to send a unit to her home to follow up. That’s when things took an unexpectedly violent turn.
I just wanted them to be aware. They came over. I talked to an officer for a minute and he walked over to my son,” Olzak said. “Then he put my son’s hand behind his back and, like, lifted him up in the air and slammed his face into the trunk of a car.
The family filed a civil claim against the department last week, which accuses the unidentified cop of using unnecessary and excessive force which cause the child to sustain broken teeth, bruising to his face and neck, as well as a possible concussion.
There was blood everywhere coming out of his mouth, he was spitting blood, crying, and I called 911 and said that an officer had assaulted my child,” Olzak said. “You heard his teeth hit the trunk and he instantly started screaming and crying saying you knocked out my teeth.
During the time of the incident, multiple witnesses at the scene corroborated Olzak’s version of events. Courtney Beck owned the vehicle Olzak’s son’s face was smashed on. Beck said there was “absolutely no reason for” the officer to assault the child. Beck confirmed that after the assault, the officer handcuffed and arrested the child.
He put his arm behind his back and his head into the back of trunk hard enough that it chipped his tooth and then placed him under arrest,” said Beck.
Another witness, Jessica Bowles told the same story.
I walked up closer and saw a chipped tooth, blood, and two fats lips,” said Bowles.
Olzak called 9-1-1 again to report the assault. All three women claim that officers kept the boy in handcuffs while they took him to the hospital.
Ozark said she didn’t understand why the police violently assaulted and then arrested her son.
In this particular case there was a juvenile that was signed as a runaway,” said IFPD Capt. Royce Clements.
According to Clements, Idaho law gives police the power to take the child and release them to a 3-b detention center or the family, regardless of the wishes of the child. Clements also said that the law gives officers the authority to arrest runaway children. However, he stated that IFPD takes Ozark’s allegations very seriously.
In this particular case it was determined that we did send this to internal affairs and that is ongoing. When a case goes to internal affairs there is a process by which we go through that. Once that investigation is completed the full results of that come back to the chief of police and as an administrative team we discuss that and make a determination as if or what sanctions will or need to take place,” Clements said.
However, Clements could estimate when the investigation would be complete.
We know we can’t effectively do this job without the trust of the public. When the public comes in and they’re not happy with something that we’re doing we take a hard look at it and see what we can do,” said Clements.
Ozark claims to this day that she still hasn’t received any notification of charges filed against her son, and Local News8/KIDK Eyewitness News did a records search of the Idaho Repository and could not find any records of recent charges filed against minors.
Meanwhile, Local News 8 asked the IFPD if the officer had a body camera, and the department stated that their officers are not required to wear them.
Here’s a video on this story.
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