$55K Settlement In Pepper Spraying Of California 7-Year-Old

By | December 9, 2011

San Mateo has agreed to pay $55,000 to the family of a 7-year-old special education student who was hit with pepper spray by a police officer.

The city reached the settlement in the federal lawsuit filed by the boy’s family last week. The family has also settled claims against school officials and a county agency.

San Mateo police were called to George Hall Elementary School on June 10, 2010 after the boy climbed onto a bookshelf. The boy, who has not been identified, suffers from learning difficulties and anxiety.

Officer George Heald blasted him with pepper spray when he refused to come down.

San Mateo police tell the San Francisco Chronicle the department has no restrictions on using pepper spray against children. Deputy Chief Mike Callagy defended Heald’s actions, saying the boy was out of control.

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