Cittadella

Italian 10-year-old hauled out of school in custody battle

Emotional scene caught on tape, mother outraged

Italian 10-year-old hauled out of school in custody battle

(ANSA) - Cittadella, October 11 - A video of police hauling a 10-year-old boy out of school kicking and screaming has caused an outrage in Italy where the parents of the child are engaged in a bitter custody battle. Footage of the scene, which hit national airwaves late Wednesday, showed two plain-clothes officers forcibly picking up the boy named Leonardo, one by his shoulders and the other by his ankles, and taking him away as he screamed for his aunt who was filming. A court had ordered that the boy be turned over to the custody of his father. He is currently reported to be in a group home. Child-protection officers said they had repeatedly attempted to pick up the boy at his mother's home but she and her family would not hand him over. The mother and several parents from the school held a protest in front of the school Thursday telling police to "free" the boy. "The way our little boy was taken away is inhumane," said the tearful mother. Italy's national media watchdog on Thursday warned outlets not to gratuitously play the video "for the health and dignity of the boy".

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