CLEVELAND- The FOX 8 I-Team has obtained exclusive video showing what happened after Cuyahoga County sheriff’s deputies say a 15-year-old girl flew into a rage in juvenile court, and deputies say it puts a spotlight on a problem with teen suspects appearing in court without handcuffs.
The video shows two deputies struggling with a teen girl, waiting for back-up from the Juvenile Detention Center.
You can hear the deputies say, “She’s biting and kicking.” And, “She’s biting, kicking, spitting.”
We’ve learned the teen went wild after a judge allowed her to appear in court without handcuffs. And the union for deputies says that can be a daily danger.
Dan Leffler with the Ohio Police Benevolent Association told the I-Team, “Deputies have expressed to us this isn’t different than an adult situation where there could potentially be a violent juvenile.”
We’ve shown you inmates turn violent in adult court, even with their hands locked in cuffs. Deputies say the video provides the latest proof kids can be dangerous, too.
Deputies and their union leader say what happened in this case has happened before: deputies hurt in court by teens not handcuffed. Privately, deputies have told the I-Team even suspects in violent crimes may not get handcuffed – not even some suspected killers.
Dan Leffler added, “There was a prior incident dating back several months where a deputy was injured and is actually out on injury leave at the moment.”
Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court says an Ohio Supreme Court ruling has said each court should develop its own rules for the “use of physical restraints on children appearing in proceedings.”
In Cuyahoga County, deputies say judges often hold short hearings to decide whether or not to handcuff a teen suspect.
The teen in this latest case already has a record for charges including domestic violence, robbery, and much more.
The court would not release to the I-Team audio from her hearing without a judge’s order.
Both deputies involved had to go to the hospital to get checked out, especially after saying they had been bitten.
The teen girl had been hit recently with a list of charges for new crimes. But after erupting out of control in court, Cuyahoga County prosecutors have added four more felony charges tied to the assaults on the deputies.