He was just shy of 13-years-old when it happened, but by the time he turned 18, he took the Albuquerque Police Department to court for a wrongful arrest that happened when he was in middle school.
The man filed suit against the city of Albuquerque and several members of the police department for an unjust arrest that happened back on December 12, 2008.
That’s when police officer D. Hensley, a school resource officer at Grant Middle School, placed 8th grader Paul Castenada under arrest, all for reporting to class when he had an in-school suspension.
In a complaint filed Jan 2 of last year, it states that Barbara Tate, Castenada’s teacher, said that she forgot to remind him about in-school suspension. He had severe attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and he was well-known to forget things.
Remember, this was not an at-home suspension. He was only supposed to report to the office for in-school suspension. But Hensley arrested Castenada anyway.
Castenada says he is still unaware that he actually had an in-school suspension that day. He says he does not remember being told about it, but was instead threatened with it, according his attorney Joe Kennedy, of The Kennedy Law Firm.
“This is maybe the worst incident I’ve seen. This is a situation where it is clearly a school issue” rather than a police matter, Kennedy explained.
Castenada is not simply suing the city, but has directly filed suit against Hensley, Sgt. Donny Keith and former Police Chief Ray Schultz.
Why all of those officers? Kennedy says that Keith and Schultz had the obligation to provide Hensley with better training about when it is alright to arrest a child.
Castenada said that this arrest let him to eventually drop out and earn his G.E.D.
Hensley wrote in the arrest report that skipping in-school suspension “not only interrupts the ISS class, it interferes with the educational process because the backlog created by the failure to appear students limits the effectiveness of the program,” Hensley claimed.
(Article by Jackson Marciana)