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A teen with autism died after Louisiana deputies sat on him for 9 minutes, dad and mom’ lawsuit says

“Never did we ever think that our 16-year-old son with special needs would die in front of our eyes at his age and in the hands of law enforcement,” Donna Lou, the mom of the teenager, Eric Parsa, stated Thursday in a information convention.

“Unfortunately it is our reality of a nightmare that we have had to live with every day since his untimely death,” Lou stated.

Deputies responded in January 2020 to a shopping mall in Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans, as Eric skilled a “meltdown” associated to his autism, in response to the lawsuit and the household’s attorneys.

They handcuffed Eric, shackled his ft and restrained him face down on the pavement of the buying middle’s parking zone, placing immense stress on his again, in response to the lawsuit, which calls using drive “excessive” and “unreasonable.”

Over the course of 9 minutes and 6 seconds, deputies did not put Eric in a “recovery position” after subduing him that might have prevented {the teenager} from suffocating, the lawsuit says.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office (JPSO) stated the lawsuit contained false and “malicious accusations” towards the deputies.

“This case centers on a severely autistic teenager diagnosed with numerous other mental conditions which caused him to have frequent violent outbursts,” the assertion stated, noting Eric attacked and bit his father.

“Once deputies arrived, they tried to control the violent teenager’s outbursts to prevent him from again attacking his parents and first responders,” the assertion stated. “Deputies allowed the teenager’s mother constant access to remain close to her son on the scene so that she could help first responders in defusing her son’s violent behavior.”

“While the Sheriff’s Office remains deeply saddened over this unfortunate loss of life, it does not intend to allow Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Deputies to be maligned and slandered by those seeking to profit from this unfortunate situation,” the company’s assertion stated, partially. “The Sheriff’s Office will timely respond to these matters as requested by the Court.”

CNN has reached out to the Jefferson Parish Attorney’s Office for remark.

The lawsuit filed in US District Court within the Eastern District of Louisiana additionally names various JPSO sheriff’s deputies and the house owners of the buying middle the place the incident occurred, claiming violations of Eric’s and his dad and mom’ constitutional rights and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

It seeks unspecified damages, however Lou stated she and Eric’s father are sharing their story to forestall one other household from experiencing what they’ve gone by means of.

“We bring this lawsuit in hopes that Eric’s death would not be in vain,” she stated, “and no other family would have to go through the same horror.”

Teen was in the midst of psychological episode

Eric and his dad and mom had been leaving a laser tag facility on the buying middle on January 19, 2020, when Eric started to “experience a sudden sensory outburst” associated to his autism, the lawsuit says, and commenced slapping himself and slapping and grabbing his father.

Due to his restricted language abilities, “Eric could have self-injurious and aggressive behaviors when he was frustrated,” Eric’s mom defined in an announcement she learn on the information convention.

“Eric was experiencing a crisis,” she stated.

Police handcuff 16-year-old boy with autism while he was having seizures, mother says

The supervisor of the laser tag enterprise, who was acquainted with the household, requested Lou if she would love the supervisor to name police, and Lou stated sure. The buying middle had employed safety officers that included JPSO deputies, the lawsuit says.

An off-duty JPSO reserve deputy acquired the decision from the laser tag supervisor, who knowledgeable him that Eric had autism and was in a “confrontation” outdoors together with his father.

Cameras mounted outdoors the enterprise captured the incident, displaying Eric and his father grappling with one another for a number of minutes till the primary deputy arrived, driving a JPSO SUV.

The deputy contacted different deputies for help in restraining Eric and in addition contacted EMS, the lawsuit says.

The video reveals Eric, who was overweight, slapping his father and the deputy, who acquired Eric on the bottom face down. The deputy — whom the lawsuit describes as an obese man — handcuffed Eric and sat on his again for the following 7 minutes, the lawsuit says. Lou remained on the bottom subsequent to Eric, making an attempt to calm him.

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“Crucially, what the deputy should have done at that point, once things were calm and everything was fine, was they should have taken the weight off of Eric Parsa’s back,” William Most, an legal professional for the household, stated through the information convention. “They should have rolled Eric Parsa onto his side to ensure that he could continue breathe. But the deputies did not do so.”

Over the following a number of minutes, six extra deputies arrived on the scene. One of them relieved the primary deputy, getting on Eric’s again and, at one level, placing him in a chokehold, in response to the lawsuit. Each of the deputies was conscious Eric had particular wants, the lawsuit says, however none intervened to maneuver Eric onto his aspect right into a “recovery position.”

“It wasn’t until his body had gone limp and he had urinated on himself that deputies rolled him into ‘recovery position,'” the lawsuit says. “By then it was too late.”

Eric was quickly taken by ambulance to an area hospital the place he went into cardiac arrest.

The Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office categorized the way of dying as an accident however stated a contributing issue was the “prone positioning” Eric was in whereas restrained by deputies, in response to the lawsuit.

‘Eric was our objective’

Lou stated Thursday that Eric “brought so much joy” in his 16 years and stated the developmental milestones that may be taken as a right in a typical baby had been what made her and Eric’s father so proud.

At the time of his dying, Eric was in highschool, engaged on social and unbiased life abilities. In 2017, his mom stated, Eric received an award from Cox Communications New Orleans for working laborious to beat the hurdles he confronted in day-to-day life.

Eric Parsa, left, is seen embracing his mother, Donna Lou.

“Eric was our purpose in life. He depended upon us, his parents, to help him navigate through this confusing world,” Lou stated.

“Not being able to see him or hear his voice has been devastating to us,” she stated. “How do you reconcile with yourself that there are no new memories to be made with him in it?”

CNN’s Tina Burnside contributed to this report.

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