Photo of 7-year-old chained to police station rail may spark lawsuit

Posted at 7:39 PM, Jan 30, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-30 20:14:56-05

What took place at PS 114 and continued at the 44th precinct in the Bronx on December the 4th has many still wondering why 7-year-old Wilson Reyes found himself in police cuffs in a photo that has sparked a suit against the city.

A bombshell six-page Notice of Claim was filed on Monday by the boy and his mother, Frances Mendez, seeking $250 million dollars for what they say was verbal, physical, and emotional abuse — amid a laundry list of other allegations.

Yet, why was the 7-year-old in cuffs?


Officials and cops believed he was a thief, according to the lawsuit.  Reyes allegedly punched another kid in the face and robbed him of $5 a few days earlier on November 30th.  Once implicated he was pulled out of his third grade class room and allegedly falsely imprisoned for 10 hours in cuffs at school and the 44th precinct.  He was even charged as an adult and provided with an appearance ticket. Ultimately no charges were filed.

On Wednesday, PIX 11 News went to his parents home where his mother, Frances, said that “she couldn’t comment” but did add that her son was “doing fine, thank you.”

According to witnesses,  Reyes continues to attend school and maintain a normal schedule.  The lawsuit states that he suffered multiple bodily and psychological injuries.

“Mami, Mami, Mami…” said Wanda Matos as she recreated the boys reaction when he finally was able to speak with his mother.  Aside from being friends with Reyes’s mother she also picks him up at school and looks after him daily.  Matos was adamant that the Reyes has never had any kind of issues in the past and his arrest was a complete “abuso,” — Spanish for abuse.

The Notice of Claim serves as essentially a warning to the City and the NYPD that a $250-billion dollar lawsuit may be on the horizon.

Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne issued the following statement to PIX 11 News, “While the lawyer’s claims are grossly untrue in many respects, including fabrication as to how long the child was held, the matter is nonetheless being reviewed by the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau.”