Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Autistic Man Talks About Hitting Baby - Video included -

By Alana Rocha (WICHITA, Kan.) - KWCH TV

Watch the video

We talked to the mom of a six month old who was hit by a man at Wal-Mart. Crystal Shunatona says the man left a bruise on the back of her baby's head.

She tells us she was told the man is autistic and doesn't like children.

Tonight we hear from that man. Bruce Jones, B.J., tells us he needs help and hopes she can now get it for him.

He says he knows he hit the baby but can't explain why.

"I hit the baby's head. It was an accident," B.J. said.

The 28 year old was in a south Wichita Wal-Mart Friday night with his mom, Sharon, when he saw a six month old baby.

"You don't like when baby's cry?" we asked B.J. He says, "Yes, it was an accident. Don't worry about it."

We talked to the baby's mom, Crystal Shunatona. She's concerned about B.J. hurting someone else.

She says he walked up and hit her son on the back of the head leaving a bruise.

"I don't want him in jail. I just want him off the streets so he doesn't do it to someone else - for his own safety," Crystal said.

B.J.'s mom, Sharon says "I lost sight of him then I saw a little baby. I was worried about my son. I was worried about the baby, especially the baby being as small as it was."

"I was afraid he may have hurt the baby a lot worse cause he is exceptionally strong," Sharon said.

The baby is expected to be okay.

Sharon admits she doesn't have complete control of her son when in public and that he's harmed a child before.

"What am I supposed to do? Lock him up? Shoot him? I would just like society to tell me what to do," she said.

Sharon says B.J. enjoyed going to Wal-Mart. The pair has not been back since Friday. And she now goes to stores where kids are less likely to go.

"I make him stay right next to me. Not to go off and do his thing in the other part of the stores," Sharon said.

Sharon says B.J. didn't get much professional help or guidance growing up, but she's willing to ask for some now. So he can continue enjoying getting out.

Connie Coulter works with the autistic at Heartspring in Wichita. She says, "A lot of these kids that are now adults, didn't get the early intervention and because of that you have instances like you saw at Wal-Mart the other day."

Heartspring works with children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.


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