PALM BAY, Fla. (CBS Tampa) — A Palm Bay man has been arrested after being accused of forcing his two young autistic children to smoke marijuana.
Yvonne Martinez, public information coordinator for the city of Palm Bay, told CBS Tampa that the suspect, Scott Crawley, was arrested on Jan. 3 for what began as a battery case.
“The suspect’s father, who is over age 65 … said he and his son got into a verbal argument that escalated into battery,” she said. His son fled the scene by the time officers arrived.
A police report provided to CBS Tampa by Martinez goes on to state that Crawley, 42, attacked his elderly father after he was denied money.
“During my investigation the victim showed me a small clear vial containing a green leafy substance and red metal pipe which based on my training and experience is used to smoke illicit drugs,” the report continues.
Crawley allegedly forced his son, 10, and his daughter, 7, to smoke out of a vial containing a high-grade diesel potpourri labeled “not for human consumption/not safe for minors.”
He reportedly taped the entire incident, then posted it to his Facebook page.
“The defendant made both autistic children smoke the substance and video tape [sic] his youngest children and posted it on Face book [sic],” the police report states. “The video was captured by law enforcement and it showed the defendant insisting that the child take a big hit from the pipe. In the video the child appeared nervous and scared and needed the assistance of the defendant to manipulate the pipe and lighter.”
The video has since been removed from the social networking site.
Crawley, defended his actions to Bay News 9, claiming that they were all in the name of activism.
“I thought I might go to jail for this, but it was worth it for the cause. For the children with autism,” Crawley told the station.
Currently, the children are staying with their grandparents, according to authorities, and the Department of Children and Families is investigating the matter further.
Crawley told Bay News 9 that he misses his kids.
“I love them very much, and I wish I could hug and kiss them. And be good for Nana and Papa and not miss me too much,” he told the station.
The local news site additionally reported that he discussed the matter of marijuana as alternative treatment for autism frequently on his Facebook page, stating that he is both autistic and schizophrenic and being medically treated for his conditions.
Crawley faces two counts of aggravated child abuse, in addition to battery on a person over age 65. He is presently being held on a $127,000 bond.
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