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Man pushed an 8-year-old off a 31-foot slide – because the line was ‘long,’ police say

Minnesota police say 18-year-old Roman Adams, who has cognitive disabilities, pushed an 8-year-old boy off a 31-foot slide platform at the Apple Valley Aquatic Center on Tuesday because he said the line was “taking a long time.” The boy survived.
Minnesota police say 18-year-old Roman Adams, who has cognitive disabilities, pushed an 8-year-old boy off a 31-foot slide platform at the Apple Valley Aquatic Center on Tuesday because he said the line was “taking a long time.” The boy survived. Dakota County Sheriff’s Office

After police say a Minnesota teenager pushed him off a 31-foot slide platform on Tuesday, an 8-year-old boy had just one question: Why?

Nick Francis, captain of the Apple Valley Police Department, told KARE11 that he talked to the boy — who broke several bones but is in stable condition — after police say 18-year-old Roman Adams sent him falling off the slide at the Apple Valley Aquatic Center and onto the concrete below.

“We have someone who is alive today, who we didn’t think was going to be alive yesterday,” Francis said. “The victim is in amazingly good spirits, able to talk, able to laugh a little bit.

“His question was, ‘why did this happen to me? Why did this person throw me over?’”

The answer? Police say Adams, who has cognitive disabilities, confessed that he threw the boy off the high platform because the line for the slide wasn’t moving fast enough, according to Fox9.

Adams’ attack came seemingly out of nowhere, Francis said.

“There was no argument, no pushing, no shoving, no words exchanged,” he told Fox9, “just this individual walking up and throwing this poor kid off the top.”

Francis told CBS that Adams, while disabled, “knew what he did was wrong, he knew what he did was going to hurt someone and he did it.”

And what Adams did to the 8-year-old shocked many witnesses at the water park, the police captain added.

“It’s been open for 20 years, we’ve never had an incident of this magnitude,” he said in an interview with CBS. “Everybody in the water park that saw it happen are just devastated by it.”

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This is the slide that police say Roman Adams pushed an 8-year-old boy off of because he was upset about the long line. Screenshot from KARE11

The boy broke bones in his shoulders, feet and legs from the sudden fall, but he had no injuries to his head or internal organs, police say. He was breathing when officers arrived to the scene, police told Fox9, and has since undergone surgeries at a nearby hospital.

Adams was arrested on the scene and charged with third-degree assault, as reported by CBS.

Francis said that police are taking Adam’s mental health into consideration as they move forward with the case.

“It’s difficult when we have to view someone as a possible suspect that’s got some mental disabilities,” he told KARE11. “But our job comes down to determining whether or not a crime took place, whether or not someone knew right from wrong.”

The Philadelphia Police Department is asking for the public's help in identifying two adults seen in this video. The video, which was uploaded to Facebook on July 10, shows an unknown female kicking a young male child several times.

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