MOUNTAIN GATE, Calif. — An autistic teenager suffered a head injury and a broken elbow in a beating by three sheriff’s deputies who mistook him for a prowler, authorities say.
Don't miss these Health stories
More women opting for preventive mastectomy - but should they be?
Rates of women who are opting for preventive mastectomies, such as Angeline Jolie, have increased by an estimated 50 percent in recent years, experts say. But many doctors are puzzled because the operation doesn't carry a 100 percent guarantee, it's major surgery -- and women have other options, from a once-a-day pill to careful monitoring.
- Larry Page's damaged vocal cords: Treatment comes with trade-offs
- Report questioning salt guidelines riles heart experts
- CDC: 2012 was deadliest year for West Nile in US
- What stresses moms most? Themselves, survey says
- More women opting for preventive mastectomy - but should they be?
Pierre Cowell, a 17-year-old who does not speak, had wandered from his home early Friday.
A neighbor, who did not recognize him, called 911 after seeing him outside her home about 2 a.m., Capt. Tom Bosenko said Monday. The woman became alarmed when she heard the doorknob jiggling, he said.
As three deputies approached the house, Cowell ran toward them and bumped one of them, Bosenko said. When Cowell didn’t respond to the officers’ commands, they used a baton, stun gun and pepper spray to subdue him.
“The officers were very much concerned for their safety,” Bosenko said, adding that the deputies thought Cowell was under the influence of drugs. He said that the officers did not know that an autistic teenager was missing at the time.
Cynthia Cowell said she was unaware her son had left their home Friday until deputies came to her door.
“He doesn’t understand anything to do with danger. He has to have someone constantly with him,” she said.
She said she was surprised the deputies did not know he was autistic until she told them. “Being totally nonverbal would be a clue,” she said.
© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.