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?’”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
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.”
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.”