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Unruly 8-year-old pepper sprayed by police

April 6, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
An 8-year-old boy was pepper sprayed by police officers in Colorado after the boy became unruly at school. Now people are asking, how young is too young to get pepper sprayed?

Police say they felt threatened, but the boy's mother, Mandy Elliott, says they had other options.

At first glance, Aidan Elliott appears to be an energetic kid. But it was his behavior in the classroom that led to him being handcuffed and pepper sprayed.

Police say their actions were necessary due to Aidan's threats.

Steve Davis of the Lakewood Police Department said Aidan told police and teachers he would kill them, and Aidan doesn't deny it.

"I said, 'I'm going to kill you once you get out of that room,'" he said.

School officials say the incident began in Aidan's class - a class for children with behavioral problems. They say the second grader was spitting, throwing chairs and threatening his classmates and teachers with a piece of broken wood.

Police arrived and decided to pepper spray the boy.

Aidan's mother says police used excessive force on her son and blames his school for his behavior.

"It doesn't happen with babysitters, family members, it's only at school," Mandy Elliott said in an interview on "Good Morning America."

His school says if Aidan improves his behavior, he is welcome to return.