Autistic Boy Dies After Being Improperly Restrained

13-year-old Jonathan Carey died last week, on the evening of February 15. He was on an outing with another child from the O.D. Heck Developmental Center in Schenectady, NY, when health worker Edwin Tirado, 35, improperly restrained him. Jonathan stopped breathing, as reported in today’s Times Union. According to police, the driver of the van, Nadeem Mall, 32, continued driving the van around Colonie, in upstate New York, all while “doing errands, shopping and buying beverages, instead of seeking medical. Both men have been charged with second-degree manslaughter.

From WNYT on February 16th, the day after Jonathan’s death:

Apparently Carey was acting out. Tirado was sitting beside him. Colonie Police Chief Stephen Heider says Carey was less than five feet tall and weighed less than 100 pounds, while Edwin Tirado is 5-feet-10 and weighs 140 pounds.

Somewhere along the line, the two men decided to cancel the Crossgates trip. They turned west on Central Avenue and drove back toward Niskayuna. Police say the non-approved restraint techniques were still being inflicted. By the time they reached the Hess Mart near the Schenectady County border, Carey wasn’t breathing.

It’s what the two men are accused of doing after they pulled over at the Hess Mart that changes this story from sad to unbelievable. Rather than call an ambulance, rush him to a hospital or even take him back to the O.D. Heck Center less than two miles away, police say the two men went shopping — with the boy’s body in the van along with the still-alive 14-year-old client. Police say the men made a stop at the Mohawk Commons to buy a video game.

After dropping off the video game at Tirado’s Mont Pleasant home, police say they waited until they were due back at the O.D. Heck Center and then rushed in to report the medical emergency — 90 minutes after it really happened.

Jonathan had been at the O.D. Heck Center since last year. According to his parents, he loved horses and was “a happy boy.” His funeral was today.

Requiescat in pace, Jonathan.

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    • tricia

      that is such a sad story im so sick and tired about people hurting disabled people.What is wrong with everyone anymore?people should think before they act.Well liz carroll the foster mother of marcus fiesel has been found guilty on all charges.Also i made a memorial website about marcus.Its

    • Kristina Chew, PhD

      Thanks so much for the updates Tricia and for the memorial website link—-hard to think about all this.

    • Junior

      A “special place in hell” is what comes to mind when I read this.

    • Kristina Chew, PhD

      Public sympathy is not, one would think, going to be with the driver and aide.

    • Another Voice

      I am feed up! It seems as though the leading cause of death among autistic people is the people they need to depend upon for help. We are constantly reading about an aide at some school or institution “restraining” or just plain sitting on a child until they die. One headline after another and nothing seems to change. The staffers, hopefully, will be severely dealt with by the courts.

      I think that the people in charge should also be severely dealt with and held accountable. The people who hire animals should get the front page coverage. If there is a board of directors, each one of them should be publicly called to task. They are the ones who have no quality control in their hiring practices, no training programs to deal with situations. They should be smeared all over the press for not doing their jobs. Unfortunately we don’t have laws against being incompetent and lazy but each should have to answer for having something like this happen.

    • Kristina Chew, PhD

      This story made me feel both sick to my stomach and all the more because I once lived not far from Colonia, NY, and can picture where all of this awfulness happened.

      A New York state senator is sposoring a bill to increase state spending on oversight of homes for the developmentally disabled as reported here in AP Metro.

      But it is too late for Jonathan Carey.

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    • Angela r gray

      My heart and thought r with u all.I myself have 3 children all with severe behaviour diffilcultys they can b a complete nightmare a majoraty ov the time although my boy jak who is almost 7 was the worst as a baby and toddler constantly screamed like he was being murdered everytime we left the house until we returned it began when 7-9 weeks old and continud until he was almost 6 he now is relativily gud at home bt is horendus in school he was expelled july 06 n then i got hm a place at a sen unit he was then shut in the toilet everyday up 2 eight xs a day also getin covered in unexplained scratches bruises and bumps since i kicked up a fuss about this he only been in 40% due to bein excluded im at the end ov the line now n im not sending him back nt 2 b manhandled like he is and end up burying him i know he can b a little ~!!_ but hes my little ~!!_ n i love em all to pieces i hope u come through this a better person than b4 i know in my heart u wil c the light and do ur best 2 ur childs memory with all ov us x

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    • Tiffany

      I can’t belive it, two men left 2 kids in a vechicle! That is so irresonsable! , my brother is autistic and i hate to see these kids suffer so much… DON’T THESE PEOPLE KNOW THAT THESE KIDS SUFFERED ENOUGH???!!! They should be helping them acheive by doing puzzles and things like that with them, not going to the mall leaving two children in a hot vechicle or what ever they were driving! I hope they rot down there

      P.S Help People Be Aware Of Autism :) Thank You

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