Crime

Boy duct-taped near Tacoma school found safe. Great-grandpa struggled to control him, police said

Man who duct tapes boy, hauls him away, was caught on camera

A 10-year-old autistic boy was bound with duct tape and taken outside of DeLong Elementary in Tacoma on Monday by his grandfather who allegedly was trying to prevent him from running into the street.
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A 10-year-old autistic boy was bound with duct tape and taken outside of DeLong Elementary in Tacoma on Monday by his grandfather who allegedly was trying to prevent him from running into the street.

A boy believed to be bound with duct tape and abducted across the street from a Tacoma elementary school was found safe Monday, hours after an Amber Alert was issued.

Police said the boy’s great-grandfather, who allegedly did the duct taping, recognized himself on television and called 911.

Although an investigation is ongoing, the great-grandfather allegedly restrained the 10-year-old because the boy would not stop running into the street.

“He was having trouble controlling an autistic child, so he opted to duct tape him,” police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said. Cool added that that duct taping a child in any situation is “not appropriate.”

A group of children hanging out at DeLong Elementary School called 911 shortly after 4 p.m. to report seeing a man duct tape a boy, put him inside a vehicle and drive away.

They captured cell phone footage of the incident, which they gave to police.

"He was duct taping his legs together and possibly his hands to his thighs," Cool said.

Police were unsure who the boy was, but they decided to put out an Amber Alert because they had a general description of the four-door sedan.

The boy was found safe with his grandmother in Kitsap County. His great-grandfather, who was no longer with the child, was located at his University Place home.

An investigation will take place into the treatment of the boy, Cool said.

The boy does not attend Delong Elementary but was dropped off by a bus from the Tacoma school he does attend. His great- grandfather was there to pick him up.

The 79-year-old was not arrested. Police will forward a case to the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office for review.

Stacia Glenn; 253-597-8653



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