Arnaldo Rios, 27, wandered away from an assisted living facility in North Miami last Monday. Police officers, responding to a call of an armed and suicidal man, found Rios sitting on the street and playing with an object which turned out to be a toy truck. The patient’s behavioral therapist, Charles Kinsey, who is black, was next to him, trying to coax him back into the facility.
Kinsey was shot when a police officer, believing Rios was a threat to Kinsey, aimed for Rios but missed and struck Kinsey in the leg instead, said John Rivera, president of the Police Benevolent Association in Dade County.
Rivera said officers at the time did not know Rios had autism and did not know the object in his hand was a toy. The officer who shot Kinsey was later identified as Officer Jonathan Aledda, 30, a member of the department’s SWAT team, according to CBS News.
Rios has been suffering from night terrors since and has declared, “I hate the police,” his mother Gladys Soto said during a Saturday news conference. “It’s too emotional to see your baby caught up in something like this,” Soto said through tears.
“He’s not the same anymore,” said Rios’ sister, Miriam Soto.