Lawyer: teen threw from police car autistic, schizophrenic, bipolar
JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A prisoner was thrown from a police cruiser last week after being arrested for public intoxication.
The family of the arrestee, 19-year-old Logan Younger, now says they don't feel like the whole story is being told.
"What a lot of folks don't know is that Logan suffers from quite a few mental conditions," Young's lawyer, Robert Wells with Wells & Wells, said. "First off, Logan is autistic, he is schizophrenic and he also suffers from bipolar disorder."
In an exclusive interview with Region 8 News, Wells said because of his mental state, Younger's actions can be unpredictable.
"They can be spontaneous, and he can have mood swings really at a moment's notice," Wells said. "Something that could trigger that could be a stressful event or interaction with an authority figure such as a police officer."
Younger's family said they want people to know he is not just a drunken, hateful teen.
"On first glance, it may appear that that's somebody who's intoxicated but he gave a lot of signals that maybe there's a little something more than that," Wells said. "Watching the video, he actually gave the police officer a pinky promise that if he cooperated, that the officer would give him a ride home and that's something that's not typical of an intoxicated person. Once the officer gave him a pinky promise and said he'd give him a ride and was taking him to jail, that kind of set Logan off and made him very, very upset."
Wells said they do plan to challenge all four charges Younger faces because of his mental state.
"Logan said some things that are reprehensible and should not be said to any other human being," Wells said. "I don't think anybody will disagree with that, but what people really need to realize is that he didn't say those things with a mind like you or I. He said it with some mental conditions that caused him to say that and when you paint it in that light, I think people should realize, hey this kid needs help."
Young was originally charged with public intoxication and minor in possession. He was additionally charged with fleeing on foot and escape because he ran away after the crash.
Wells said he also believes some JPD policies need to be reviewed in this case.
"First, Logan should have been buckled in the back seat," Wells said. "An officer has discretion on whether they want to buckle them in or not but at this point, he had already gotten part way out of his handcuffs two times and that's kind of a sign that he needs to be restrained in the back seat. The officer had turned on his sirens and his flashing lights. Typical protocol says in prisoner transport, you don't have lights on and you don't have sirens. They should be driving at a reasonable speed, not only for the public's safety but for the safety of the person in the back seat. In this case, I think he was going too fast, lost control, and as a result, Logan was thrown out of the back of the car."
Officer Justin Thompson was injured in the crash.
He was flown to a Memphis hospital and later released.
Younger was treated at St. Bernards Medical Center for minor injuries before being taken to the Craighead County Detention Center.
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