Emotional homecoming: Autistic teen returns home from jail

Posted at: 04/08/2010 5:17 PM | Updated at: 04/08/2010 11:38 PM

By: Linzi Sheldon | WHEC.com

AutisticIt was an emotional homecoming for a mentally disabled teenager Thursday night. He was released from jail after what his mother calls a horrible misunderstanding. “I was really happy to see her,” 19-year-old Jarred Crawford said. “Just, yay!” his mother Jamie Britt said. “He’s home! He’s home where he needs to be.” Crawford says he is just happy to be home with his family. His story triggered an outpouring of support from News 10 NBC viewers.  The teenager is autistic and his mother says he had  a meltdown at Victor High School on Wednesday  after there were four fire alarms. The school’s resource officer says Crawford punched and kicked him. Jarred was sent to jail by a Victor town judge after his mother said she couldn’t post bail. Britt says on Thursday, an employee from the public defender’s office spoke with the local judge who ordered Jarred to jail. She says that’s when the judge agreed that Jarred could be released.

News 10 NBC was there for that reunion at Ontario County jail. Britt said it was overwhelming to be able to hug her son  again and take him home. She says on Wednesday there were four fire alarms at Victor High School. She says some  autistic children are extremely sensitive to sound and other stimuli and when all that happened, he became physically aggressive with the school resource officer.  A judge sent Jarred to jail when Britt couldn’t post bail. Jarred called jail “scary” and says he is glad to be back home. “Happy,” he said. “Very, very happy. I’m at home, I have my dog upstairs, I have my Furbies, I have my mom, I have my sister…I can see them now. I don’t have to talk to them over the phone, I don’t have to see them through glass.”

After hearing that Britt couldn’t afford the bail money, some viewers called News 10 NBC offering to help her pay for it. Britt says she wants to thank them for their generous offers and kindness. She hopes this whole situation makes people more aware of some of the challenges facing autistic children. “Education is the key,” she said, “that’s the only thing that can happen differently. That’s education for the school systems as well as for the Sheriff’s office and the deputies and everybody that’s dealing with children and young adults that have these issues.” Jarred will not be attending school on Friday. He will be back on Monday when he is scheduled to have a meeting with school administrators. Jarred is still charged with disorderly conduct and assaulting an officer but Britt says she hopes to work with the public defender’s office and the judge to have those charges dropped.

For more Rochester, N.Y. news go to our website www.whec.com.

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