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Jennings firefighters suspended after being caught on camera boxing with autistic teen

Posted at 6:36 AM, Oct 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-21 06:58:31-04

JENNINGS, Fla. (WTXL) — WTXL has gotten a closer look at the video that started an investigation involving members of the Jennings Volunteer Fire Department

The mother of the teen in the video now calling for more than suspensions.

It's sparking conversation throughout the community.

The video shows a firefighter boxing with a teen who has autism.

The teen falls to the ground and you can see him struggling to get free.

The Hamilton County sheriff is investigating the incident.

WTXL's Brittany Barnett spoke with the man's mother.

The mother wants the firefighters to face charges.

She is preparing to take legal action herself.

She already has a lawyer and says she wants to prevent this from happening to any other family.

Hamilton County deputies say the incident happened at the end of September they received a report on October 4.

The Jennings Volunteer Fire Department is shut down for right now because all of the firefighters are suspended.

At last check no one is charged in connection to this video. The sheriff's office is still looking into it.

The mother of the victim says that her son has high functioning autism.

That means he functions like other adults in a lot of ways but may have some under-developed social skills

His mother says people in the community need to be sensitive to him and others who live with disabilities.

"They are different kids. They don't process feelings and thoughts the same way we do. Some people will look at it and say 'oh, they were playing, and it got too rough'....or 'oh, the kid's not really hurt so it's not a big deal'... but it really is, " said April Pinkard.

Pinkard says her son is doing okay as he is suffering from headaches.

She is thankful that nothing worse happened to him.

Since the fire department is shut down.

Crossroads and Jasper fire departments are now responding to emergency calls in Jennings.