California family with autistic son face lawsuit

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(WGNO)- A battle is brewing in one California neighborhood.  A family with an autistic son is facing a lawsuit from their own neighbors in Sunnyvale.  They say their 11-year-old son is a public nuisance.

Plaintiff Robert Flowers says, “For us this case is not about autism as far as we’re concerned.  It’s about the safety of our children.  They were attacked on multiple occasions and we felt like this was a last resort to protect our children from further attacks.”

The families say it’s not the child’s fault, but blame the parents for not taking better control of their son.

They claim the 11-year-old attacked their children during a birthday party and at random while outside.

“All the children here have witnessed so much violence. There was an increased fear in the kids.  They didn’t even want to step outside of their house,” says plaintiff Bindu Pothen.

Autism advocates say they are worried about possible backlash.

Ronald Hampton of the Autism Society District of Columbia says, “I would hope that the court doesn’t rule against the family because that just creates another barrier and that is not the solution.”

The family of the 11-year-old have since moved from the neighborhood.

The families who have filed the lawsuit say they want damages for past abuse and assurances that the boy will be better supervised.

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