North Ridgeville teen with autism facing felony charges after Thanksgiving meltdown

Autistic teen arrested in North Ridgeville on Thanksgiving
Published: Nov. 26, 2017 at 6:38 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 28, 2017 at 11:18 AM EST
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(Source: Lisa Berner)
(Source: Lisa Berner)
(Source: Lisa Berner)
(Source: Lisa Berner)

NORTH RIDGEVILLE, OH (WOIO) - Lisa Berner, of North Ridgeville, says her 14-year-old son who is autistic was taken into police custody on Thanksgiving Day, and now faces felony charges after kicking an officer.

Berner said she called police after her son had tried to cut himself several times with a knife and then took off.

"On Thanksgiving, he woke up and was immediately fixated on self-harming, and this went on through the day -- was breaking things -- very manic," described Berner.

Berner said North Ridgeville police came to her home about 45 minutes after she called them for help.

She said North Ridgeville Police are familiar with her son's violent tendencies.

"Two officers showed up and said they located him - another officer did. He willingly got into the back of the police cruiser, and then just completely flipped out. He was trying to break out the windows, the partition between the officer in the backseat, was spitting, cussing," said Berner.

Berner said her son, Ehren Jackson, who has the mental capacity of a 6-year-old, was taken to a Juvenile Detention Center after a mental health evaluation.

She said Lorain County Children's Services told her that her son would be taken to juvenile detention simply for his safety until he could be taken to another residential facility, but she added, during a hearing on Saturday, Ehren was treated like a criminal.

"I had to watch an officer walk my 14-year-old son in handcuffs and a jumpsuit like a criminal," said Berner, "He was asked to sign papers acknowledging these charges, and he was writing his name, and didn't know that he had to put his last name, so he got reprimanded for not putting his last name."

Berner says that for the past year, she's begged Lorain County Children's Services to put her son in a residential treatment program where he can get the help he needs for his violent behaviors, but so far, she says her pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

"The minimal services that these organizations have offered us have been inadequate and inappropriate for our situation," added Berner.

Berner pointed out the damage Ehren has done to his bedroom.

There are multiple large holes where the drywall has been torn out, a ripped out ceiling fan and some scribbling on the ceiling that Ehren wrote, according to Berner, that included a sentence about wanting to hurt himself.

"I don't see a light at the end of the tunnel. I do not want to institutionalize my son -- I really want him to be with me. Unfortunately, the condition that he is in it makes it impossible," said Berner.

Ehren Jackson is due in juvenile court on Monday.

Berner is hoping her son might finally get the help that he needs, but wants Lorain County Children's Services to be held accountable for not adequately responding to her requests for help.

Lorain County Children's Services was closed for the weekend, and had not yet responded to Cleveland 19's request for a response to Berger's allegations of not providing adequate resources to deal with her son's violent behavior.

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