A 15-year-old is recovering at Children’s Mercy Hospital after suffering a head injury allegedly at the hands of a detention officer. Austin Barela, 15, reportedly underwent emergency brain surgery following the incident at the county juvenile detention center Monday to relieve pressure caused by his injuries.
Austin’s mother, Jennifer Davis told KCTV5 her son was beaten by guards at the detention center. She said she was called by another guard informing her that Austin was being taken to the hospital.
“She said that a guard did slam his head to the ground,” Davis said. “And she said he was being life-flighted to Children’s Mercy Hospital.”
Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center director, Ken Haliburton confirmed there was an incident.
“We have called in the Kansas Bureau of Investigation to ensure there is no bias and we are cooperating with that investigation,” he said. “A detention officer has been put on administrative leave due to the investigation.”
Davis said her son has a 3-inch skull fracture, bruises and cuts and that he remained conscious during at least part of the beating and remembers exactly what happened. He said another guard watched as he got slammed to the ground.
“He said he got picked up,” Davis said. “He had him put his hands behind his back and then he was body slammed to the ground.”
Haliburton said his office is cooperating with the investigation but could not offer further comment at this time.