Police Investigating After Teen With Autism Found Duct-Taped
The Highlands School District near Pittsburgh has suspended its soccer coach and two of the team’s players after a teenager with autism was found duct-taped to a goalpost over the weekend.
Harrison, Pa., police said the incident happened Sunday night at the school’s soccer fields. The police department is investigating.
Austin Babinsack, 16, told police that he was left duct-taped to the post for about 15 minutes, while several students went back to the school to get another student.
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An off-duty Pennsylvania state trooper found him.
“He was terrified, he could have died, he could have had a heart attack from being so stressed out. He was screaming at the top of his lungs,” Austin’s mother, Kristy Babinsack told KDKA-TV.
Kristy Babinsack said Austin has autism.
The school district said coach Jim Turner and two of the players, both 17, have been suspended for at least five days. The Associated Press reported that Turner was not present at the incident.
The district released the following statement about the incident: “Highlands School District does not take matters such as hazing and bullying lightly. The district issues strict disciplinary action on students who think these actions are appropriate and harmless.”