JONESVILLE, MI - The Jonesville Police chief has been placed on paid administrative leave, following an incident involving an autistic child who ran away from school. According to a statement by Village of Jonesville manager Adam R. Smith, Chief Brian Corbett was placed on leave March 30, and will remain on leave for the duration of the state police investigation into the incident.
On March 28, an 8-year-old boy ran away from the Williams Elementary School after an altercation on the playground. School staff called the police. Two school employees eventually caught up with the boy as well as Chief Corbett. The boy's mother says the chief told her he dragged the boy into police car. She says she was told her son kept kicking the back seat of the patrol car, so Chief Corbett struck the child on the legs with a baton. The mother says her son was then taken back to the school in handcuffs.
The police chief told us over the phone that had he known the boy was autistic, he would have responded differently.
Michigan State Police are conducting an investigation. The Hillsdale County Intermediate School District is also reviewing the incident.