Oklahoma Update: No Felony Charges for 28 Year Old With Autism Denied Medical Care During Seizure
Managing Editor's Note: You can follow this story by Robert Medley at NewsOK.com. Autism deserves proper medical care.
BY ROBERT MEDLEY Published: April 12, 2010
An autistic man who has seizures was jailed last week for combative behavior in a hospital emergency room but will not face felony charges, a prosecutor said today.
Stephen B. Puckett, 28, of Oklahoma City, was arrested April 5 at OU Medical Center. Two medical center police officers said Puckett kicked one officer in the knee twice while he was being handcuffed and scratched another officer on the arm, according to a probable cause affidavit.
His violent fit was a result of a neurological disorder, the family's attorney said this morning. Puckett spent three days in Oklahoma County jail, where his condition deteriorated, said Tracy Nester, an Edmond attorney.
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 this morning 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.
Mary Ann Puckett, Stephen Puckett's mother, said her son has severe autism and had seizures on the weekend of April 3. On April 5, Stephen Puckett was violent at the hospital when police officers arrested him and took him to jail. 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 her son was taken to a crisis center after being released from jail Thursday. She said arrangements were being made for her son to be admitted to a hospital in Ada this afternoon.
OU campus police and hospital officials could not be reached for comment this morning
Read more: HERE.
How in the world can anyone blame Autism Speaks or any other Autism Awareness Orgnaization?? First of all, not evryones autism is cause from vacines. Maybe some,maybe most, but I do not believe ALL autism is from vaccines.Everyones autism is not the same. Secondly, the big question in this story is not what caused autism but why is not mandatory that police officers recieve Autism Awareness training??!! IT should be mandatory for al first responders in all states!
Posted by: dbcmom | April 14, 2010 at 10:00 AM
At least someone (the D.A.) realizes that this man needs help, not jail.After reading this story, it's the first time in my entire life, I can remember being ashamed of being an Oklahoman. If this is what it has come down to, Oklahoma is not O.K.
Just goes to show that Oklahoma has NOTHING for our autistic community. A little help would be nice.
Posted by: Amy Rhodes | April 14, 2010 at 09:41 AM
In other WTF? news:
Posted by: samaxtics | April 13, 2010 at 12:25 PM
Cream certainly rises to the top, but so does pond scum.
Posted by: kerbob1 | April 13, 2010 at 06:58 AM
Sometimes I read stories like this, and I truly wonder what kind of country I enlisted to defend :(
Posted by: Skuwulfe | April 13, 2010 at 04:33 AM
While glad a reasonable resolution has taken place, I do pity the ignorance of the two officers. It's entirely regrettable that they were kicked and scratched. It is perfectly understandable that they are unaware of the "hidden" disease.
I think all of us parents should personally blame Autism Speaks for incidents like this. They pocketed $875 million dollars in U.S. tax dollars and this kind of stuff still happens.
If Autism Speaks had spent just a fraction of unethical and immoral vaccine court expert testimony witness war chest on certainly ethical and moralistic purposes like law enforcement education we might not ever read of unfortunate incidents like this again.
Don't blame the cops. Blame Autism Speaks.
Posted by: Kerbob1 | April 13, 2010 at 12:17 AM
I feel sick when I read what parents share about their children's extreme medical issues and their immense suffering. I feel very sad and depressed and heartbroken for these children and their families and I pray that they will find answers...and I also feel extremely angry because all of this was caused by a very corrupt and evil system.
Based on what Kristina commented in the other article on AoA regarding Sebelius: "She is not asleep at the wheel. She is wide awake and knows she is hurting and killing children, and she doesn't care. I'm so tired of the evil in the world." It seems apparent that she was indeed being sarcastic, but there is so much pain and suffering involved with our children and families that it is difficult to sort out the sarcastic and ironic comments sometimes. If I would not have just copied Kristina's comments into my own comments, I would have not realized where she was "really coming from" myself, as there are some people who make these kind of comments in all seriousness. I give them the benefit of the doubt because they have been indoctrinated by the vaccine propaganda, but it does appear by Kristina's other comments that she is actually on "OUR SIDE":)
We are all really "in the same boat" aren't we?
"Life is an Ocean
Love is a Boat
In troubled waters
It keeps us afloat"
Posted by: Autism Grandma | April 13, 2010 at 12:16 AM
It's okay. I feel like I post here a lot, so I figured people would realize I wasn't serious. But I guess my username is a little too generic to be memorable.
Posted by: Kristina | April 13, 2010 at 12:00 AM
The cut on his forehead is from when the policeman had him on the floor face down to handcuff him The drool in the picture is from him having a seizure while getting his picture taken.
I found out tonight from his Mother, he now has lost a front tooth
and still is having seizures, but they are not being treated. He was taken to yet another hospital tonight, only to be turned away again!
What happens if he dies from all these seizures, no big dieal??
So anyone out there who can help this young man? He Still has no place really to go for treatment. This next place will only keep him there for 5 days, and then only dope him up while he is there.
ANYONE: Do you have any ideas where this young man can get
Posted by: Allie90 | April 12, 2010 at 11:29 PM
Posted by: 4Bobby | April 12, 2010 at 11:22 PM
"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.
The Mental Health System? We still have so far to go. At least jail has been taken off the table.
Posted by: Libby | April 12, 2010 at 10:35 PM
Our son, Eric has aggressions with no seizures to date. The Delaware police asked us if we wanted to press charges against him and put him in jail. My wife managed to get him back to the residential center (and prevent a disaster if he went to jail....we both said no to the police) while I went to the local hospital regarding my bleeding, broken right thumb in October 2009.
He is 25 years old.
My wife's sister has a daughter with autism and grand mal seizures.
She is about 23 years old.
Posted by: RaymondGallup | April 12, 2010 at 09:55 PM
This story made me cringe at the thought...can you imagine? I have a son with epilepsy and autism, and let me tell you if he had a very bad seizure, 911 would be called with interventions. This January, we almost lost him to a series of grand mal seizures, first initiated by a nightime seizure aspirating on his own vomit. Please people...autism is that serious, it CAN kill your child. Paramedics had to work on him for over 45 minutes to get him stabilized and oxygen saturation up to par, because the intubator was not working. I can only imagine how livid I would be, and I would sue every bloody person who had any contact with my son in this situation. I am serious. We called the ambulance company and called them on the mat about their faulty intubator. And told them we would sue if he was brain damaged. Luckily, through prayer, he was fine...but there may be another time, where I am not there (like dead in the grave), and no would know the things I know that would bring him back from the brink. Anyone who says they would rather have an autistic child, rather than an innocuous measles infection, clearly needs their head examined. Oh how I wish I listened to my inner voice saying, take your baby and RUN! (from the pediatric "well baby" exam)...
Posted by: kathy blanco | April 12, 2010 at 08:49 PM
Thank you Kim and Age of Autism for covering this difficult but important story. Professionals need to get with the program. Autism is not going away. The second tide of children with autism will be turning adult age soon. Our children, their medical problems and all accompanying issues need to be dealt with as a whole community - not just the parents and not just the autism community.
Posted by: Theresa Cedillo | April 12, 2010 at 08:28 PM
Kristina, I for one speak fluent sarcasim. Next time we're going for "tongue in cheek" put a *wink-wink* at the end.
I apologize to you also as I didn't realize you didn't mean it the way it came out.
Posted by: rileysmom | April 12, 2010 at 08:15 PM
This kind of news story scares me. We were turned away from our local hospital when Ronan was five. He ended up in the ER 3x over the next 2 days--major dehydration after a procedure is most likely the culprit but I suspect the adverse affects of anesthesia coupled with mito issues.
Had the first hospital taken us in, we could have avoided three times the anxiety, stress, Ronan's pain and our disappointment yet again in the medical field. It was an overwhelming nightmare. Ronan was the opposite of Mr. Puckett--he could barely move, had trouble breathing, was incoherent and in such a sad state. My husband and I stayed strong and tried to keep the horrible 'what if' thoughts at bay since I was sure we were going to lose our son.
As we left the doctor's office knowing we had to get to an ER quickly, I'll never forget the call our pediatrician made trying desperately to get him into the local facility. Choice words were yelled on Ronan's behalf. We ended up in a hospital almost 2 hours away to get appropriate treatment. Then, we needed to go back to the ER two more times since Ronan never fully recovered. Makes me wonder what else we should have done back then....we know better for next time but pray there isn't going to have to be a next time trip to the ER.
Posted by: Cathy Jameson | April 12, 2010 at 08:06 PM
I'm apoligize then, Kristina. It is just I've had people say that very thing to my face many times in all seriousness, despite knowing I have a son who developed normally and regressed, so I get reactionary every time I hear it.
Posted by: AnaB | April 12, 2010 at 07:40 PM
Thank you for that simplifying that. As the mother of a son who was vaccine damaged and had several nights where I had missing teeth, bite marks up and down my arms, bruising over my upper torso, and bald areas of scalp from hair being torn out, I sympathize with this mom.
I also lost my brother, who was six years older that me and who lived with AS and Epilepsy from the age of twelve, when he died in 1999 due to appropriate medical care while in a state hospital in MI.
That is why we do the work we do today via LEAN On Us. As an adult he was arrested numerous times and jailed for becoming compative with officers when they would respond when he had a seizure in public. He had a genuis IQ, his own business at one time, but lacked the ability to self advocate in a manner that was non-confrontational. He was ahead of his time, but that was also from having a father that ran for the MI Senate.
My brother's death was caused by a blood clot that went from his leg to his lungs and killed him. Due to his disability, he was not listened to. We were told he had a mental health disorder, however upon his death, and contribution to the Autism Tissue Program we discovered he had a three inch leision on this brain from his seizure disorder. That was what was causing his behavioral challenges and a simple MRI would have discovered that.
However today our efforts are to ensure our son, who now is a senior in high school and on the honor roll, but still has some significant challenges with his ASD, does not die as his uncle did.
I would urge parents on this list to think about why there are not proper supports for families in these situations. Why are individuals who are more vulnerable victimized often by those who are suppose to be their protectors? What can we do to prevent it? What we can do is start supporting families like those in these stories?
I really think we need to start an advocacy group that provides "the second line" support that other communities offer. So when "the first line" players need help, the second line players step in.
When my brother was hospitalized both my parents were chronically ill and also died within 18 months after my brothers death. Our son was also still very sick medically, but that guilt eats at me. My other family members though didn't feel like they could assist him and he died due to his disability, a death that could have been avoided.
We need to do more folks, or more individuals may die and they may be our children.
Posted by: Carolyn Gammicchia | April 12, 2010 at 07:15 PM
Snark accepted, Kristina! Readers - sert your phasers to zero, OK? KIM
Posted by: Managing Editor for Kristina | April 12, 2010 at 05:59 PM
I apologize. I thought it was clear I was being sarcastic. Clearly this man's problems far exceed being mildly socially awkward.
Posted by: Kristina | April 12, 2010 at 05:31 PM
Kristina- My child cannot speak. I wish he were just "socially awkward." By the way, my nephew, who was perfectly healthy, developed a "deadly disease" known and juvenile diabetes from his KINDERGARTEN VACCINES. Yes, he was given a quadruple vaccine, a triple vaccine and a single for a total of 8 in one day. So, he won't be getting measles or mumps etc. but his very life depends on an insulin pump. Yes he will die- DIE without insulin. Now that's what I call deadly.
Posted by: 4Bobby | April 12, 2010 at 05:28 PM
rileysmom is my kind of warrior!
Posted by: bensmyson | April 12, 2010 at 05:06 PM
People who make comments like Kristina's are essentially saying, "I know vaccines cause Autism in some kids but I am fine with that", which is despicable, in my opinion.
Posted by: AnaB | April 12, 2010 at 04:55 PM
The suggestion that childhood mumps is either deadly or dangerous is simply wrong. It's one of the least dangerous childhood illnesses, akin to chicken pox. But it is more dangerous when contracted later in life, especially for boys. So what mumps vaccination has done is to take a completely benign childhood illness and raise the risk that boys will be harmed later in life when mumps is more dangerous to them. And as we've seen in multiple recent outbreaks, the main reason for vulnerability later in life is that mumps vaccines frequently fail.
Posted by: Mark Blaxill | April 12, 2010 at 04:53 PM
Many times more likely to have a child develop autism than contract measles.
Number of new German measles (rubella) cases: 12 (2007)
(that's about 1 in 25 million!!!!)
Autism cases: 1 in 110 children
1 in 70 boys
source- CDC; measles:
Posted by: Sarah | April 12, 2010 at 04:41 PM
Kristina, Maybe your child is mildly socially awkward and happy but many are not. Why can't some people seem to understand that or do they simply not care? They are sick, with debilitating seizures, painful GI tract issues, debilitating anxiety where they cannot leave the house without extreme meltdowns. I'd take my child having the measles or mumps, for which treatment is available, over what he suffers with every day.
Posted by: AnaB | April 12, 2010 at 04:37 PM
Kristina- You just won the "Stupidest person on the interwebz" award hands down. Maybe you should log off your computer before you completley knock your tiny sized IQ down any further by making stupid comments.
Posted by: April | April 12, 2010 at 04:35 PM
Kristina, the problem is... when your child is diagnosed with autism you don't get to pick the severity. I think we would all be OK with "...child be mildly socially awkward but otherwise happy and healthy," but once again we DON'T get to choose.
Posted by: Natalie | April 12, 2010 at 04:35 PM
Thank you for posting the story from Newsok.com and we are continuing to follow the story. One correction here, Scott Rowland is the assistant district attorney in Oklahoma County. He tells me this afternoon that Puckett is going to stay in custody of the state Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
Posted by: Robert Medley | April 12, 2010 at 04:29 PM
Shut up Kristina. Measles NOR mumps are deadly unless you're a door knob that doesn't know when to seek medical attention for your child. They can ALSO be treated NATURALLY at home. Perhaps YOU still live in a third world country??? Where there is no running water and you need to walk days to get to the nearest medical center??? When was the last time measles or mumps were deadly in the US? By the way you ignorant bitch, my child is not just "mildly socially awkward", he doesn't have a friend in the world because at 6 yrs, he is still non verbal. We just walked in the door from the hospital from running more labs to find out why my son's skin is falling off. We just got back from 3 days and 2 nights in a major US hospital hooked up to EEG monitors. We also just recently got the results back from an upper and lower GI procedure that says my child has fisures in his gut. AND since this is a site for parents that have the same issues with their child as I have with mine...Screw off and find somewhere else to vomit your bull shit.
On that note and getting back to the REAL story that this article pertains too...is this the kind of "care" my son gets to look forward too? Mental health system? Why? So they can drug him into submission?
Posted by: rileysmom | April 12, 2010 at 04:25 PM
Why doesn't ARI adopt this case, give the mother what the man needs medically and nutritionally, watch him improve and then put him in the news again.
And on the case of the Russian Boy who was returned a few days ago. He had flat feet. That is a symptoms of thyroid disorder. Make a bet the kid had metabolic issues and was shot up with vaccines before he was sent to US. I'm not saying what that family did was the right thing, but obviously they needed some help with things that were not provided by social workers.
Posted by: spacekitty | April 12, 2010 at 04:09 PM
You see in the picture that big cut on his forehead, I am sure it is from falling during a seizure.
So they could not control him in the hospital.
SO, ONCE HE WAS IN HANDCUFFS they could not treat him?
SO, ONCE HE WAS BEHIND BARS SOME MEDICAL PERSON DID NOT FOLLOW BEHIND AND TREAT HIM.
I hope his family sues their pants off.
Posted by: Benedetta | April 12, 2010 at 04:03 PM
I'd much rather my child be mildly socially awkward but otherwise happy and healthy than risk him getting a deadly disease such as measles or mumps.
Posted by: Kristina | April 12, 2010 at 03:15 PM