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Dr. Bob Sears Interviewed on KVUE About The Autism Book

Oklahoma Univ Medical Center Hospital Refuses to Admit Autistic Man. Only Choice Jail?

Stephen Puckett Stephen Puckett's mother speaks out on her son's status. Click HERE to watch the video at News OK (embed code isn't working right now.) He was jailed last week following a violent outburst associated with his autism and his seizure disorder. This is autism. Are you aware?  Thank you to Robert Medley of News OK for permission to reprint his article.

An autistic man who has seizures was jailed last week after displaying combative behavior in a hospital emergency room but will not face felony charges, a prosecutor said, calling it a frustrating case of someone needing mental help and not jail.

As his mother watched, Stephen B. Puckett, 28, of The Village, was arrested April 5 at OU Medical Center. Two medical center police officers said he was screaming and swinging his arms, so they tried to restrain Puckett's hands and legs. One officer said he was kicked in the knee twice and another officer was scratched by Puckett on the arm, according to a probable cause affidavit. His violent fit was a result of a neurological disorder he has had since he was an infant, his mother Mary Ann Puckett said. When her son calmed down she was told by the hospital staff her son would not be admitted because of his autism, Mary Ann Puckett said. As officers told him he was going to jail and led him away in handcuffs Stephen Puckett said, "But I'm a good boy, officer," Mary Ann Puckett said she heard him say. "It was absolutely heartbreaking," Mary Ann Puckett said Monday. "I am crying as I talk about it now."

The family's attorney, Tracy Pierce Nester of Edmond, said Stephen Puckett spent three days in the Oklahoma County jail, where his condition deteriorated. Puckett will not be charged with assault and battery on a police officer, said Scott Rowland, first assistant district attorney in Oklahoma County. "
Rowland formally declined to file felony charges requested by OU police after the emergency room incident. "This is just one of those tragic cases where a guy who belongs in the mental health system winds up in the criminal justice system," Rowland said. "It is one of the most frustrating types of cases we see too often." He said his office is frustrated by the number of cases that need attention from mental health providers, not prosecutors. "Our office sees cases in which a criminal act may have been committed but from time to time charges are brought to us and it is clear there are mental health issues. We don't want to place a person like that into the general population of the jail," Rowland said.

Stephen Puckett was kept in a straight jacket and on suicide watch while in Oklahoma County jail, Nester said. Mark Myers, sheriff's office spokesman, said he could not comment on medical treatment provided to Stephen Puckett during the 72-hour jail stay. He said after being booked into the jail Puckett was taken to the medical floor where he remained under observation until he was released Thursday. Mary Ann Puckett said her son has severe autism and had seizures on the weekend of April 3. He has often become violent when he has seizures and has had the condition since he was an infant, Mary Ann Puckett said. She said she has heard from people who have offered support from across the country through social networking sites and through the autism advocacy group Age of Autism," that circulated her son's story on its Web site.

Arrangements were made to move her son to a hospital in Ada that agreed to admit him, but he has not been released from an Oklahoma City crisis center where he is being held in custody of state Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Mary Puckett said. A judge agreed to his release from jail to a mental health facility, court records online show.

Watch the video and read more:



All I keep thinking about about is how much PAIN this young man is in.

When my son was 6, his DAN prescribed Straterra. My son went totally manic and I tried to get some help by calling several hospitals in my large metro area. All told me not to bother because they would never admit someone with autism.

Thank you to these parents for bringing attention to this discrimination. Most people have no idea this is going on.


I agree that ALL Autism mediaoutlets should be covering this story.The point I was trying to make is, The discussion here should be about how to stop this from happening-we cant just snap our fingers and cure our kids ober night. If you have a child in schol with autism, your child could be at risk for being mistreated by the SRO(school resource officer) or the city or county police officer. Dennis Debault-google him-AWESOMe-does police training. I work for a Autism organization &we pay for the police trainings to be done locally in FL.


Raymond G.

I am so sorry. Your burden is more than I could bear.


Denied medical treatment because of his autism...appalling!!

Maybe the family should contact the ACLU.. if this isn't this a blatant case of discrimination, I don't know what is.

People living with HIV have dealt with medical and other forms of discrimination for years, maybe they could offer guidance.


I am so proud of Stephen Puckett's mom. Sigh...well, that speaks of the awareness out there! Hospitals that do not treat and police that don't press charges - we are all WELL aware. How long until there are three + seizure patients with autism per night in OU Medical Center? Can the police sue the hospital for a reimbursement of public funds? Any practical legal ideas on this? In the least they need some training but revoking OU Medical Center license might be a more appropriate idea. Can you imagine being held in a jail cell prevented from treatment of cancer, epilepsy, or stroke? It's time for the medical system to pay it forward.


A few years back a bunch of our kids started having heavy, complex seizures.

Many believed at the time that it was increased neurological deterioration and/or a prior seizure condition suddenly magnifying itself.

Fortunately, one recalled that Dan the Man had run a story about the MMRV being pushed to market. It had 10 times the amount of Chicken Pox in it.

A little research will tell any doctor that Chicken Pox causes seizures. These vaccine manufacturing drug companies were really demented for attempting to murder our children with Chicken Pox. I wonder how many children the MMRV actually directly or indirectly killed?

The MMRV vaccine was yanked off the market because it caused "too many" seizures. The drug companies claimed they ran out of bugs.

Autism Grandma

Re:"The family's attorney, Tracy Pierce Nester of Edmond, said Stephen Puckett spent three days in the Oklahoma County jail, where his condition deteriorated."

"Stephen Puckett was kept in a straight jacket and on suicide watch while in Oklahoma County jail, Nester said. Mark Myers, sheriff's office spokesman, said he could not comment on medical treatment provided to Stephen Puckett during the 72-hour jail stay."

There is NO EXCUSE why they couldn't treat his seizure disorder at a hospital and NO EXCUSE for keeping him in a straight jacket with no therapy for his seizures. His mother informed the police of his condition and he could have DIED from a seizure while in that straight jacket. Could they not even imagine the emotional distress this would cause to a mentally disabled person with autism for God's sake??!!! THANK GOD he is still alive, and I hope the attorney sues their asses off so this won't happen to another poor soul with autism or seizure disorders.

Due to his age his mother may not know about the many successful therapies that have been discovered since he was diagnosed with autism. I hope his lawyer can get him released from the mental facility as soon as possible because they will only give him drugs which won't really help him. I hope a D.A.N. doctor steps forward to offer his services, maybe even pro bono, because he desperately needs REAL therapies that will really help him.


When your child is too much to handle or like our son who has become an adult, the hospitals don't help. Eric was born in St. Clare's Hospital in Denville, NJ and they wanted to sue us if we didn't take him to Greystone Psychiatric Hospital or home. When Eric was at Trinitas Hospital in Elizabeth, known for supposedly helping kids with autism and aggressions, we found they had strapped him to the bed when we came in. We immediately took him out.

Usually when we told the police ahead of time in our area, they knew what they were dealing with when you reassure them that it isn't an average child or adult.

I know people were talking about Autism Speaks....they are as much help as the hospitals, the CDC, NIH and FDA.....all of them are useless. The only thing they do well (other than Autism Speaks) is to vaccinate and damage our beautiful kids and then wash their hands of all responsibility.
They are definitely great at doing that!!!!!


To dbcmom:

I never get the either/or thing. Never. We need to address all the issues, all the time.


Amy in Idaho

I've seen it written a few times in this case that Steven Puckett needed to be in the "Mental Health System" not the criminal justice system yet I see no reference to any mental health illness - just autism.

Part of what we need to be yelling about is that autism is not a mental health disorder and any mental health system is going to be about as appropriate as the justice system.

This story is frightening on so many levels. My prayers and thoughts are with Steven and his family.

Managing Editor

Pardon me, DBCMom, but aren't you here reading about this story? I've Googled Stephen's name and I don't see him on the science blogs or the ND or Asperger's blogs or even the "We hate age of autism" blogs, do you? Why haven't any of them claimed this story? I also see his story on a blog from Canada from the Dad of a severely affected boy. The biomed community is covering it. I'm in touch with several people close to the story.


Jake Crosby



The police officier's were the heros here! They were taking him because they had a medical facility and the doctor had denied him.

Never ever say the word autism. He had a childhood brain injury, or he had a childhood stroke. Not autism - never ever.

I have used it already and I pray it does not come back to haunt us.

I empathize

My eight year old has a 24/7 Petite Mal seizure condition, which is mostly controlled through medication. However, if he gets the slightest amount of gluten, dairy, or nuts his seizures become so aggressive that he will drag me across the room by my hair, attack me in stores. This story strikes fear in my heart and I feel terrible for this family. I am with the mom - whatever legislation we need to work towards, let's do it.


Ok, where is the outrage, AOA readers????
This is the REAL AUTISM ISSUES ! It is not all about DAN treatments. We need to focus on OTHER issues also. Lets use our voices and our compassion and our common experiences and LEARN something here-the world is not ready for ADULT AUTISM but our KIDS are going to gros up!! Not ALL kids will be "cured" we need to pay attention to this


Our son gets ativan (lorazepam) when he gets an aggression and while he has no seizures that we know of, he calms down after 20-30 minutes.

Here is some information on that and Valium concerning seizures below. The hospital Eric was at NJ and where he was born couldn't cope with Eric's aggressions nor could other hospitals. Only the residential center where he is now seems to be able to deal with it. When we take Eric out of the residential center we encounter problems and we no longer do that.

SEIZURE MEDICATIONS---The two drugs, lorazepam and diazepam, Diazepam,
more commonly known as Valium

Patients will receive either midazolam IM or lorazepam IV. All patients
will receive one dose of active seizure medicine. Both of these seizure
medications are FDA approved and are currently used to stop seizures in
the emergency setting.

Review Finds Ativan (Lorazepam) Best for Treating Severe Epilepsy

Ativan (lorazepam), and Valium (diazepam), are both benzodiazepines, the
currently preferred class of drugs for treating severe epileptic
seizures. Dilantin, or phenytoin, is an anticonvulsant long used for the
treatment of epileptic seizures.


If OU Medical Center is not able to treat seizures, or patients with autism, maybe the Oklahoma State Department of Health should look into revoking their license under the state's Title 63-1-706.


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