This is the shocking moment a police officer assaulted a young boy with severe autism at a special needs school in Liverpool.
In CCTV footage, Christopher Cruise, 57, can be seen threatening to kick the 10-year-old as he curls up on the floor in terror before attempting to crawl through a door.
Cruise, from Merseyside Police’s Safer Schools unit, then grabs the boy’s jacket hood and drags him across the corridor floor.
The child was left with injuries to his knee following the incident in January last year.
Christopher Cruise, 57, can be seen dragging a young autistic boy, 10, by his jacket hood in CCTV footage from a special needs school in Liverpool
The 10-year-old victim curls up on the floor in terror during the assault, which occurred in January 2020
According to a disciplinary hearing last month, Cruise walked into a classroom and asked the children if they could hear the victim crying.
He then pointed at one of the pupils and told them: ‘You’re next.’
Cruise, who was a school liaison officer, was convicted of assault against the boy at Crewe Magistrates’ Court – which was upheld at Chester Crown Court following an appeal.
Although he retired before the disciplinary process concluded, the hearing in August found Cruise guilty of gross misconduct and he would have been sacked had he remained on the payroll, reported the Liverpool Echo.
According to a teacher at the school, on the day of the assault, Cruise tried to intimidate the boy to prevent him from reporting the attack.
Cruise was fined £800 and ordered to pay £100 in compensation, as well as £500 in prosecution costs and an £85 victim surcharge – while his appeal cost him an extra £1,620 in court fees.
Cruise (pictured), who was a school liaison officer, was convicted of assault against the boy at Crewe Magistrates’ Court – which was upheld at Chester Crown Court following an appeal
The shocking moment Cruise raises his leg as he threatens to kick the boy
But relatives of the boy said he should have received a jail sentence.
One told the Echo: ‘I think he should have been put in prison.
‘His sentence was so lenient. He is a bully, that’s all he is, just a bully.’
Speaking earlier about the incident, she added: ‘We did not even know about it until Careline called his mum.
‘We didn’t even take it to court, that was the school and Merseyside Police.
‘He has autism and he struggles a lot. He is much younger in his head, more like a five year old.
‘He is also small for his age as he had growth problems.
The moment the boy attempts to crawl through a door as Cruise grabs him the by the hood of his jacket
Cruise dragged the young child across the corridor before asking other children if they could hear him crying, a disciplinary hearing heard
‘We are all absolutely furious. His days are hard enough already.’
It is not clear what led to the assault as the boy still struggles to talk about the attack with his family.
Speaking after the misconduct hearing, Detective Superintendent Cheryl Rhodes from the force’s Professional Standards Department said: ‘Merseyside Police takes the professional standards of its officers and staff extremely seriously.
‘The actions of this officer are not reflective of the behaviour and standards of our schools officers who do a fantastic job day in and day out.
‘Following the incident all schools officers underwent additional training in conjunction with the Merseyside Police training academy, School Improvement Liverpool and the local authority.
‘The public quite rightly have high expectations of our officers and we seek to uphold that and ensure that the meet those expectations.
‘Sadly, on a minority of occasions, when they fall short we will take swift and effective action to ensure that we retain the public’s confidence in the force.’