Author Topic: Gay teen flees to avoid Utah boarding school  (Read 2059 times)

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Offline cmack

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Gay teen flees to avoid Utah boarding school
« on: October 24, 2011, 04:38:30 PM »
A teen boy, either 14 or 15 years old, fled a CA airport because he didn't want to return to an unnamed Utah boarding school. He is described in news reports as being autistic with high-functioning Asperger's syndrome. Mainstream news reports give scant details, but a West Hollywood blog gives a much more detailed account and says the boy had been sent away because he is gay.

First news article below:

 
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2 ... chool.html
 
The parents of an autistic teen who left Bob Hope Airport on Wednesday and was found hours later in West Hollywood did not pay the airline for an attending escort, an aviation source said — allowing the boy to escape the notice of officials until he was long gone.

Cameron James Smith was scheduled to fly to a specialized school in Salt Lake City. When he was found seven hours later, he told police he was running away because he did not want to return to the school, the Burbank Leader reported.

Cameron was spotted a little after 5:30 p.m. by two people in the heart of West Hollywood. They recognized him from a news alert they had received on their smartphones.

They informed Cameron the police were looking for him, and he ducked into the Pizza Rustica restaurant near Santa Monica and San Vicente boulevards, Burbank Police Sgt. Darin Ryburn said.

They followed him into the restaurant, where Cameron locked himself in the restroom. They called the Burbank Police Department, and Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies contacted the boy in the restaurant.
Cameron was brought back to the Burbank Police Department, interviewed and released to his mother, Ryburn said.

Earlier in the morning, Cameron's mother had taken him to the airport to make sure he boarded a 10:30 a.m. Delta Connection flight safely. But when the plane experienced mechanical problems, it returned to the gate, where the passengers exited the aircraft, according to airport officials.

Cameron left the airport and took a shuttle to the airport's entrance, where he caught a bus to West Hollywood, Burbank police said.

The aviation source, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, said Thursday that Cameron's parents did not pay an unaccompanied minor fee and told the airline that Cameron was older than 14. They also did not tell the airline he was autistic with high-functioning Asperger's syndrome, the source said.

Each airline has its own guidelines for minor passengers. The policy at SkyWest, which operates Delta Connection, is that an unaccompanied minor fee must be paid for passengers 14 and younger who are flying alone, an official for the airline said.

Airport officials on Wednesday said the boy's mother, whom authorities have not identified, told them that her son was 14. In later conversations with Burbank police, officers said she told them he was 15.

--------------------------------------------------------

BELOW IS THE REPORT FROM THE WEST HOLLYWOOD BLOG

http://www.wehoconfidential.com/2011/10 ... up-at.html

Cameron James Smith made it on every news affiliate yesterday afternoon when he ran away from Burbank airport only to be found ordering a vodka orange juice at the Abbey.

The wait staff recognized the runaway boy from the news & asked for ID before serving him a regular orange juice. When asked for his name Cameron told the Abbey Manager, Nick Lambert, that his name was George. Nick showed Cameron his photo on the news and Cameron bolted. He kicked off his freshly acquired Casual Cool boat shoes in the park & ran into Pizza Rustica where he asked to use the restroom. He locked himself in & eventually surrendered to Lambert when he sat a table in the pizza shop.

The story the media portrays is that of "an autistic child is safe today after running away from the Burbank airport when his mother failed to ensure his safe departure". The media won't tell you that Cameron is gay, that he's being shipped away for his homosexual tendencies (again) or that he'll be bullied into a closet for the next four years no thanks to his parents.

Cameron didn't run away from school. He simply fled to the only gay sanctuary he'd ever heard of, hoping that someone there could save him. It was almost as if he was told "It gets Better" by a president who believes that marriage equality should be left up to the state & when he tried to seek sanctuary the universe said "not today kid!" Without realizing it Cameron's only hope was to land on safe soil but unfortunately this young man didn't flee Cuba & the Abbey is not Miami beach aka freedom.

So as important as it is to recognize the boys who committed suicide this month it's more important to recognize the one who reached out for help but was never heard. Cameron is already being sent packing, back to some bleak second rate version of a life away from his family.

When asked for comment Abbey founder David Cooley had this to say:



This brave young man was in the process of being returned to the state of Utah where being gay is not tolerated. Cameron obviously fled to the Abbey because it's renowned for being a safe haven for members of the gay community & my heart pours out to him during this difficult time in his life. I hope Cameron knows he has a family here & that he touched our lives in a very powerful way today.


We hope that someone reaches out to this boy, while he's still alive before it's too late. The boy who had the balls to follow a path that didn't end in suicide. Maybe GLADD, EQCA or HRC could reach out to Cameron... or are they too busy worrying about your checkbooks?

------------------------------

BELOW IS A LINK FROM THE ABOVE BLOG POST ABOUT ANOTHER TEEN'S EXPERIENCE AT A PROGRAM. I CAN POST THE TEXT IF PEOPLE WANT BUT IT'S QUITE LONG.

http://www.wehoconfidential.com/2011/10 ... -utah.html
« Last Edit: January 06, 2012, 07:53:42 PM by cmack »

Offline cmack

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Re: Gay teen flees to avoid Utah boarding school
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2011, 04:42:39 PM »
Here are some comments posted on the West Hollywood blog:

Anonymous said...

    O Yeah David Cooley, abbey is known for being a safe haven for drug addicts, fat bachelorette parties, porn stars, half naked GoGO Boys and Abel everyones favorite Drug dealer! You really kept him safe, not even letting him finish his drink, sure you took his money before turning him in! Hopefully when the boy runs away again he will Venture to Fiesta where his well, OJ won't be 12 dollars but 2 for 1!
    October 20, 2011 8:24 PM
Anonymous said...

    Cameron came into the beauty shop where I work around 4 o'clock that day. We didn't realize he was a runaway. He was trying to buy some bleach for his hair, and apparently had asked my coworker in the front of the store if she knew of a shelter where he could stay. I wish I'd have overheard that part of the conversation; maybe he could have been directed to the Gay & Lesbian Center, where someone trained to handle that sort of situation could have helped him. My other coworker saw the ordeal on the news, and portrayed it as a kid running away from school, but I'm pretty sure that's just a facade that was designed to put a socially acceptable face over the real reasons for his running away. My heart goes out to him.
    October 21, 2011 1:16 AM
Anonymous said...

    As a autism consultant, this disgusts me. THIS is why I fight the obsessive movement to "track" us, to "track" MY PEOPLE, like we're rabid dogs waiting to be put down! How many other kids, just because they're on the spectrum, got shipped off to torture facilities on their parents' dime, with the parents getting away with it by playing the autism card?! Even if Cameron's the only victim of this bullshit, that's too many.
    October 21, 2011 12:30 PM
Anonymous said...

    I don't think he came to The Abbey for "help." He ordered a fucking vodka orange juice. When questioned by the manager he ran. He ran far! Not exactly looking for help. David is always one to try to get press for anything. Like when Liz Taylor died. David you NEVER KNEW LIZ! Stop the candlelit ceremonies!
    October 22, 2011 6:21 PM
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Offline Xelebes

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Re: Gay teen flees to avoid Utah boarding school
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2011, 07:10:54 PM »
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Ursus

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Re: Gay teen flees to avoid Utah boarding school
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2011, 12:28:56 AM »
Quote from: "cmack"
A teen boy, either 14 or 15 years old, fled a CA airport because he didn't want to return to an unnamed Utah boarding school. He is described in news reports as being autistic with high-functioning Asperger's syndrome. Mainstream news reports give scant details, but a West Hollywood blog gives a much more detailed account and says the boy had been sent away because he is gay.
Ouch. Does anyone know which program this was/is?
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Offline cmack

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Re: Gay teen flees to avoid Utah boarding school
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2011, 02:06:10 AM »
Quote from: "Ursus"
Ouch. Does anyone know which program this was/is?

According to the comment posted below from the huffingtonpost he was being sent to Cross Creek, but I don't know what her source was. I haven't seen it stated in any news accounts. I think the poster may have thought it was Cross Creek because of the story told at the link posted at the bottom of my first post above, which I found at the end of the West Hollywood Blog story.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/2 ... 21996.html

THIS IS THE HUFFINGTONPOST STROY WITH SOME READER COMMENTS BELOW:

The search for a 14 year-old boy who went missing in Burbank ended after he was spotted at a popular gay bar in West Hollywood.

Smith went missing Wednesday morning from Bob Hope Airport in Burbank after his parents dropped him off and watched him board a SkyWest Airlines flight to Salt Lake City, Utah. The teen, who has autism, attends a specialized school in Salt Lake City, according to The Burbank Leader.

His commuter flight had returned to the gate after boarding due to undisclosed mechanical issues, at which point the passengers deplaned. Smith's parents were unaware of this, and since they did not pay an unaccompanied minor fee, lied about his age and did not reveal that Smith suffered from autism, no one on the flight crew was assigned to monitor him, reports ABC News.

Once Smith had exited the airport, KTLA reports that he borrowed money from strangers to take an MTA bus to Hollywood.

The teen was later found outside of Pizza Rustica on the 8900 block of Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, after being spotted at The Abbey by someone who recognized him from news reports. The teen was trying to order a vodka and orange juice from manager Nick Lambert, who then reported his location to the authorities, reports KTLA.

Originally thought to be unintentional, it turns out Smith was attempting to run away. "He did not want to go back to the school he was at, and this was an opportunity for him," Burbank police Sgt. Darin Ryburn told KTLA.

Cameron James Smith was in "good condition" when located and "was being transported back to Burbank," reports the Associated Press.

COMMENTS

 Siobhan Patricia Lynch
21 Fans
4 hours ago (9:02 PM)
He was being sent to Cross Creek - if I was being sent to Cross Creek, I would be running away too! - Cross Creek is a notoriousl­y abusive behavior modificati­on place that abuses kids... I was in a place very similar in NJ, called KIDS.... I spent a majority of the last few years fighting places like Cross Creek and recently helped a family get their daighter out of that hell hole (the abusive father sent the daughter there, the mother had to go through the courts and prove the place was abusive).

He knew exactly what he was doing. I also am autistic, and so is my child. Don't assume that all people with autism are stupid. I resent that notion.
Siobhan_Patricia_Lynch: He was being sent to Cross Creek - if I
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Si ... 26879.html
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sreneemoran
2 Fans
06:38 PM on 10/23/2011
The number of "Psychic "people posting here is remarkable­! How almost everyone can read a short article and be "shown" his motives, his parents motives, their intentions and numerous other things is mind blowing! Do you all contact your spirit guides? Do you have "visions" ?
BTW..I lost some jewelry and was wondering if you could tell me where it is. Must be awesome to be psychic!
sreneemoran: The number of "Psychic "people posting here is remarkable! How
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/sr ... 70414.html
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
CheapTrick
Them or Us.
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12:56 AM on 10/24/2011
Actually, most people are talking about the news that's been reported by the local news in West Hollywood.­.. interviews with many people who were there, the bar manager and the owners of the salon where he tried to buy hair bleach to disguise himself and asked for the location of a homeless gay youth shelter.

Amazingly, you can get your news from more than one source.

The mainstream media will seldom report a story that makes the gay community look good (like this one where they gave him some juice and made sure he was safe while calling the police to report they'd found him) and instead give you JUST enough info so you can still slander us.

We're used to it.

As you were.
CheapTrick: Actually, most people are talking about the news that's been
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Ch ... 13125.html
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Nonpc1
17 Fans
04:59 PM on 10/23/2011
America is very glad that this boy is safe after all he has been through and the twisted area he wondered into. ANYTHING could have happened to the boy at that place he wandered into and his personal safty and well being was being threatened just by being around that. God bless America. In God We Trust. Thanks to the cops for saving him.
Nonpc1: America is very glad that this boy is safe after
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/No ... 58014.html
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
CheapTrick
Them or Us.
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12:59 AM on 10/24/2011
1) he didn't "wander" there. That's way too far to walk in the time he had and it took him a few bus transfers. He went there intentiona­lly.

2) He was a lot safer there than he'd have been at a monastery or a Church.

3) His "personal safety" was just fine. He was found and looked after by the staff who gave him juice and made sure he was ok while alerting the authoritie­s that he'd been found.

4) The cops didn't save him. the staff of the gay restaurant did.

5) get over yourself. West Hollywood is IN America.
CheapTrick: 1) he didn't "wander" there. That's way too far to
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Ch ... 13346.html
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Lemeritus
Been there, done that, lived to tell
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07:27 PM on 10/21/2011
And why aren't we discussing the fact that the cops took him away in hand cuffs?
Lemeritus: And why aren't we discussing the fact that the cops
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Le ... 28739.html
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sreneemoran
2 Fans
06:44 PM on 10/23/2011
It was for his own safety. He could have run, leading to the possibilit­y of him REALLY getting hurt.
sreneemoran: It was for his own safety. He could have run,
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/sr ... 71169.html
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dick thorpe
1 Fans
04:07 PM on 10/21/2011
he wanted to be away from his parents who obviously felt overwhelme­d by his condition
dick_thorpe: he wanted to be away from his parents who obviously
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/di ... 95634.html
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WCWinner
21 Fans
03:35 PM on 10/21/2011
The kid may have autiism, but in this case, I think he knew EXACTLY what he was doing....
WCWinner: The kid may have autiism, but in this case, I
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/WC ... 89220.html
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ginausa
26 Fans
03:19 PM on 10/21/2011
He must be a pretty high functionin­g Autistic kid if he can manage to run away, find his way to Hollywood and try to get an alcoholic drink from the bar tender! Sheesh! Sounds like this kid wants to party! Actually, he's probably trying to self medicate! Obviously he hates his school and probably doesn't care much for his parent either. They lied about his age and condition and let him get on a plane by himself without being watched. The parents need to be slapped with NEGLECT charges and find out why they would allow him to travel like that! The whole thing is weird..
ginausa: He must be a pretty high functioning Autistic kid if
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/gi ... 85840.html
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BiggpussJr
64 Fans
03:12 PM on 10/21/2011
So was he bullied or not?
BiggpussJr: So was he bullied or not?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Bi ... 84464.html
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
CheapTrick
Them or Us.
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12:59 AM on 10/24/2011
Only by his parents and the school they send him away to, it seems.
CheapTrick: Only by his parents and the school they send him
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Ch ... 13372.html
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warmhrt195
29 Fans
03:04 PM on 10/21/2011
I believe the youngster is smarter than the public gives him credit for. Maybe, his parents send him away to school because they are tired of taking care of him. There's some reason behind the parents lying
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Offline Xelebes

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Offline cmack

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Re: Gay teen flees to avoid Utah boarding school
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2011, 11:05:25 AM »
Quote from: "Xelebes"
This was the article some people are using, especially in the WrongPlanet thread.  Specifically states Cross Creek.

Thanks, Xelebes, yeah, that was the link to which I was referring. I'm still not convinced that Cameron was/is at Cross Creek. At the bottom of the article it says: "If you dare, take a look at what Cameron's life may now look like by clicking here." ( http://www.wehoconfidential.com/2011/10 ... -utah.html )

It may be that the author of that piece really knows where Cameron is, but I think it more likely the Cross Creek story was just presented as a general representation of Utah 'tough love' schools.

BTW, thanks for the earlier link to the wrongplanet thread.
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Offline cmack

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Troubling Tracking Devices
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2011, 07:10:00 PM »
http://thautcast.com/drupal5/category/t ... ames-smith

Cameron James Smith
"Wandering Autistic Boy" or "Runaway Gay Aspie"?
Submitted by Landon Bryce on Fri, 10/21/2011 - 11:07
Published in

    * Asperger's Syndrome
    * Autism Speaks
    * Cameron James Smith
    * Wandering

    * Add new comment
    * Read more

A diagnostic code for wandering that can be added for people with autism or other conditions is at best a deeply troubling development.  To understand why, please think seriously about the story of Cameron James Smith.

Autism Speaks, the National Autism Association, and the companies who want to sell tracking devices to parents of autistic kids have been very successful in drumming into the heads of people in the media that "autistic kids wander away."  Cameron did not even need to have the diagnosis for reporters to use that frame when writing about what happened when he left the Bob Hope Airport a few days ago:

    Authorities in Southern California have found a 14-year-old autistic boy who wandered out of Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, Calif.

    The boy, Cameron James Smith, was found unharmed outside of a restaurant in West Hollywood, Calif., around 6 p.m. PT, according to the Burbank Police Department.

He didn't know what he was doing-- he certainly didn't have a specific destination in mind.  He just wandered away.  Because that's what autistic people do.  It doesn't mean anything when they do it, so you don't even have to think about what they might be communicating or trying to do.

But people who saw Cameron, who actually has Asperger's syndrome, say that he knew exactly what he was doing and where he wanted to go when he ran to a gay bar:

    The wait staff recognized the runaway boy from the news & asked for ID before serving him a regular orange juice. When asked for his name Cameron told the Abbey Manager, Nick Lambert, that his name was George. Nick showed Cameron his photo on the news and Cameron bolted. He kicked off his freshly acquired Casual Cool boat shoes in the park & ran into Pizza Rustica where he asked to use the restroom. He locked himself in & eventually surrendered to Lambert when he sat a table in the pizza shop.

    The story the media portrays is that of "an autistic child is safe today after running away from the Burbank airport when his mother failed to ensure his safe departure". The media won't tell you that Cameron is gay, that he's being shipped away for his homosexual tendencies (again) or that he'll be bullied into a closet for the next four years no thanks to his parents.

    Cameron didn't run away from school. He simply fled to the only gay sanctuary he'd ever heard of, hoping that someone there could save him. It was almost as if he was told "It gets Better" by a president who believes that marriage equality should be left up to the state & when he tried to seek sanctuary the universe said "not today kid!" Without realizing it Cameron's only hope was to land on safe soil but unfortunately this young man didn't flee Cuba & the Abbey is not Miami beach aka freedom.

So-- was Cameron just randomly and autistically wandering, or is he a gay kid who ran away because he feels persecuted by his family?

I don't know which narrative is true, but I think the question matters a lot.

Do you see how the wandering narrative has already made it easy for parents who may not have their kids' best interests at heart to get people to ignore the reasons why they may not stay where they are supposed to?

And, again, this is going to cause ridiculous problems as kids who get a wandering diagnosis because of legitimate childhood problems age.  Very few parents, schools, or doctors are EVER going to push to remove a diagnosis which gives them access to resources they might have without it.  Especially if it also increases the control they have over a teenager.

This is why I feel such anger toward parents who think that feelings are the most important at stake when they ignore autistic adults or act like we are objects.

Cameron's story was told for him by a campaign mounted by Autism Speaks.

Please don't pretend that that might not have disastrous consequences for him.

---------------

See video at end of article about push to attach diagnosis label for wandering to people who don't stay where other people think they should.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... XfWoOQpEDU
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Offline cmack

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Re: Gay teen flees to avoid Utah boarding school
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2011, 07:11:28 PM »
http://www.frontiersla.com/Blog/Frontie ... D=10304111

Missing Autistic Teen Orders a Drink in WeHo
Posted 10/20/2011 10:40:00 AM
 
By Stephan Horbelt
Editor
 
   
   
 
Autistic 15-year-old Cameron James Smith went missing from Burbank's Bob Hope Airport yesterday afternoon, despite his mother taking him into the terminal and dropping him off at his gate. Smith was heading to Salt Lake City, where he attended a special needs school. When it turned out that his flight was delayed due to mechnical problems, Smith bolted.

After what became a seven-hour search for the missing teen, his mother was relieved to discover he'd been found on the streets of West Hollywood.

ABC Local News reports that Smith wandered into The Abbey in West Hollywood, where he proceeded to order an alcoholic drink. Abbey manager Nicholas Lambert recognized Smith from an ABC7 Eyewitness News cellphone text alert and confronted the teen, who went by the name "George" and said he was 17 years old.

When Smith bolted out of The Abbey, Lambert went after him, following the teen into the nearby Pizza Rustica restaurant. Lambert waited for the teen, who had locked himself in the restaurant's bathroom, and when he emerged, Lambert called the police.

"He was frantic and shaking," Lambert said. "He wouldn't really talk and I had let him know at that time there were people looking for him and it was important he get back to his parents."

The police put Smith into the car (in cuffs for his own safety) and returned him to his mother.

Website WeHo Confidential sheds light on the story that ABC News does not offer, though we haven't been able to confirm:


    The story the media portrays is that of "an autistic child is safe today after running away from the Burbank airport when his mother failed to ensure his safe departure". The media won't tell you that Cameron is gay, that he's being shipped away for his homosexual tendencies (again) or that he'll be bullied into a closet for the next four years no thanks to his parents.

    Cameron didn't run away from school. He simply fled to the only gay sanctuary he'd ever heard of, hoping that someone there could save him.

    ...

    When asked for comment Abbey founder David Cooley had this to say:

        This brave young man was in the process of being returned to the state of Utah where being gay is not tolerated. Cameron obviously fled to the Abbey because it's renowned for being a safe haven for members of the gay community & my heart pours out to him during this difficult time in his life. I hope Cameron knows he has a family here & that he touched our lives in a very powerful way today.
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Offline cmack

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Re: Gay teen flees to avoid Utah boarding school
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2011, 07:20:25 PM »
"Handcuffed for his own safety"

http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-m ... 7384.story


KTLA News

6:11 p.m. PDT, October 20, 2011
BURBANK, Calif. -- Burbank police say a 15-year-old boy with autism who disappeared from Burbank Airport Wednesday purposely ran away to avoid going back to school in Utah.

Cameron James Smith was found unharmed around 6 p.m. in the 8900 block of Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, according to Sgt. Brian Lutz of the West Hollywood Sheriff's station.

Smith was captured on surveillance video running into Pizza Rustica.

Sign up for KTLA 5 Breaking News Email Alerts

He asked to use the bathroom, then ran inside to hide, employee Matt Deitturriaga told KTLA.

He said two men came in after Smith shortly after.

Smith was running from Nick Lambert, a manager at the popular gay bar The Abbey, located down the street.

Smith had tried to order a vodka orange juice at the bar, but the waiter brought him only orange juice because of his age.

Lambert approached the boy, whom he recognized from news reports.

Smith ran when Lambert asked him for ID, and then asked if he was the missing teen.

Lambert and an employee tracked the boy down and alerted police.

Police handcuffed Smith and took him to the Burbank Police Station to meet his parents.

The drama began Wednesday morning when the teenager's mother took him to the airport to make sure he safely boarded his Delta Airlines flight.

He was headed to Salt Lake City, Utah for school.

The boy was on Delta Airlines flight 4678, which is operated by Skywest Airlines.

SkyWest says Smith's parents did not notify them that he was an unaccompanied minor, or that he has autism.

Smith's mother watched him board the plane and watched it pull away from the gate before she left.

However, the flight was delayed by mechanical issues around 10:30 a.m., at which time passengers were deplaned, said airport spokesman Victor Gill.

Surveillance video showed Smith walking out of the airport and boarding parking lot shuttle #96, to Parking Lot C.

"He did not want to go back to the school he was at, and this was an opportunity for him," Burbank police Sgt. Darin Ryburn said.

Just outside the airport grounds, Smith got off the shuttle.

"He asked a shuttle driver at the airport how to get to Hollywood, and he explained to him to get on an MTA bus, and told him how to get down there," Ryburn said.

Smith did not have money with him, and borrowed some from people on one of the buses, according to Ryburn.

"His mother is very disappointed, very concerned for his safety," he said. "She was here throughout the ordeal. She is very thankful that he's safe."

---------------

Comments:


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SonjiPerez at 8:10 AM October 26, 2011

so glad he is safe these so called schools r not wht they r suppose to b believe me i knw from experience my cousin is 18 now n the y put her in a home when she was 16  stuff happened there bad stuff some stuff we dont even knw about but now she will pull her pants down at random n try to touch peoples privates

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1safechick at 1:54 PM October 25, 2011

Why did the police frog march in handcuffs and why the he11 did KTLA show the footage.  He's not a criminal, he's a 15 yo autistic kid.  Shame on the police and KTLA!!!

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Elma777 at 2:54 PM October 24, 2011

I agree with some of the people on here - namely, who gives a toss which bar this young boy was found in - gay, straight or other. Doesn't he (and his parents) have enough to be dealing with as it is?

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kindlady1 at 2:08 PM October 24, 2011

To garageboy: From what I gathered, the kid did not run away, per se. He took the opportunity to get off of the plane and explore. He was originally headed back to his "boot camp, aka special school". Obviously he took full advantage of his situation, as most teens would and even attempted to order an alcoholic beverege. It's normal juvenile behavior. Whether he suffers from austism or not, he simply took advantage of his adventure. Good news, he was found in safe condition, before he could get himself in any further trouble. Lesson learned. Next time: Parents need to escort him personally or arrange for a responsible adult to go with him to safely get him from Pt. A to Pt. B. If blame needs to be cast, start with the adult parents. Kids will be kids. He saw a hole and slipped through. It's not Delta's fault either as he was originally boarded by staff and crew. Being a "special needs" kid, they should have had a better game plan in place.  Again, glad the kid is alright and it proved to be a happy ending.

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Melissa 5150 at 10:23 AM October 24, 2011

SkyWest says Smith's parents did not notify them that he was an unaccompanied minor, or that he has autism.

This does not make sense... if the mother did not notify the airline then how did she get past security. I know when my son has flown as an unaccompanied minor I had to pay extra for a flight attendant to keep an eye on him plus I had to get a security pass to go through the gate wiith him. I could not do this unless he was an unaccompanied minor.

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garageboy at 11:49 AM October 23, 2011

Boy this is the lowest!! Who cares what type of establishment the kid was found in! Who cares as-----h. You are just trying to stir up problems for this poor kid who is already facing a struggle of a h--ll of life. You have just marked him with a X so his peers can bully him on this. You disgust me. I think the parents should be investigated as to why he ran away... Get real.

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james5108 at 1:47 PM October 21, 2011

Go to Utah or a gay bar?   Uummmm!   That's a tough one.   Could I just eat a turd instead?

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kristinreed at 12:32 PM October 21, 2011

F Ktla for bullying this kid! This kid already is unloved by his family who is shoving him away to boarding school. Now you want to add "gay bar" to your editing. What aholes.

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DarkLordBwahaha at 12:17 PM October 21, 2011

What a bunch of idiots are the commenters here! Don't think this is news Coastal1383? Don't read it! JavierRobles and others, you see issues regarding this child's sexual identity because he happened to enter The Abbey and tried to order a drink?? Your IQ is showing and it isn't a pretty sight. What laws are there regarding an autistic youth on an airplane Lawrence Lee?? If ignorance was against the law, youarefkgstopid, I would call the "po po" on you.

I'm surprised that no one hit upon the question that we should be asking. Why was this child so afraid to return to his school? What's going on there that he wanted to avoid?

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kristinreed at 12:37 PM October 21, 2011

I think it is sad that his family is pushing him away. Who would want to go to boarding school? This poor child. I have a child with Aspergers (which is a division of autism). He used to be a serious handful, but I just gave him love and patience. He is so much better now (almost 16). This boy probably had no idea it was a "gay bar" and KTLA sukks for trying to push that. 99% of the commenters on here are ignorant biggoted trolls. I try not to even read them. I think it makes me dumber. Plus, there is never a point to argue with a fool, right?

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DarkLordBwahaha at 12:16 PM October 21, 2011

What a bunch of idiots are the commenters here! Don't think this is news Coastal1383? Don't read it! JavierRobles and others, you see issues regarding this child's sexual identity because he happened to enter The Abbey and tried to order a drink?? Your IQ is showing. What laws are there regarding an autistic youth on an airplane Lawrence Lee?? If ignorance was against the law, youarefkgstopid, I would call the "po po" on you.

I'm surprised that no one hit upon the question that we should be asking. Why was this child so afraid to return to his school? What's going on there that he wanted to avoid?


coastal1383 at 5:51 AM October 21, 2011

Why is this news? Who cares...

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Lawerence Lee at 6:51 PM October 20, 2011

This story is stupid. so your saying all autism kids want to goto a bar and get vodka?? the parents are idiots. they failed to inform the airlines of the childs condition. a minor is a minor, doesnt matter if its a day before the 18th birthday. the law is the law. rules are rules..

they said he PURPOSELY ran away, so you cant say he WANDERED! duh sounds like a problem child. hates his parents...

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DamienHolland at 3:43 PM October 20, 2011

Why is this news? Does the story improve the welfare of thousands of citizens? Does it educate them in some way? Or is it a distraction from more important stories?

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bikey1 at 5:21 PM October 20, 2011

You sure ask a lot of dumb questions.

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SteadHead at 2:04 PM October 20, 2011

We might all be jumping to a number of conclusions here.  First of all, it's not like there's a sign at the edge of WeHo proclaiming "Welcome to Homopolis!"  I didn't know where WeHo was when I moved here- after college while looking for an apartment I saw one in WeHo.  Fortunately the landlord was cool enough to clue me in.

Secondly, I think a lot of people are assuming that these "bad parents" sent their poor misunderstood son to a Mormon "Pray The Gay Away" concentration camp.  But for all we know he attends a school for the autistic where he gets the attention he needs.  They might be working three jobs to pay for this wonderful opportunity for him.

The airline claims they were never informed about him but we have no way of knowing if that's true.  I've been on too many flights where I've seen a person who's Muslim or Jewish that requested a kosher meal and their request was never written down by the ticket agent.

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Sharky1 at 12:37 PM October 20, 2011

Ah. here is the problem: the parents FAILED to inform the airlines that Smith is a special needs kid.  So if you dont tell them. they assume you are good on your own.  LIke my friends and parents would have to inform the airlines of my disabilities and they are aware of it. so the staff members would pay close attention.  That dude tried to order alochol drink but was given just juice.  The shuttle driver was doing his job and doesnt know about this dude who runs away.  stuff happens.  By the way. I wouldnt appericate it if my parents send me away for school.

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ddfer1 at 10:35 AM October 20, 2011

these people need to be sterilized and have their son taken away from them!!! Why would ANYBODY put an autistic child on an airplane ALONE and not tell the airline???!!!

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TheHangEmMan at 10:32 AM October 20, 2011

Sending your kid to boarding school in Utah? Oh gosh. I don't blame the kid for running away. I would too if I was his age. You need to deal with your kids behavior effectively. You breed 'em, you raise 'em.

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kindlady1 at 10:27 AM October 20, 2011

Please that the boy was found safe. Obviously he did not want to return to his school in Utah. I picked up on that other comments might indicate the boy has a "homosexual" issue. Perhaps so, but the parents need to deal with this and maybe that is the reason he does not want to return to his school in Utah. Clearly someone should have accompanied him to Utah. Any 15 year old is rather chancey travelling alone, much less someone afflicted with "Austism" in any form. What was the parent thinking? The airline should have been notified too of the situation, so I do not blame Delta whatsoever. Lesson learned. Bottom line: The kid is safe. He is not to be trusted to travel unescorted. The school in Utah needs to be informed that he might try to runaway. I wish him and his family well and hope his issues are soon resolved.

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aperak at 9:53 AM October 20, 2011

Being forced to go to school in Utah would make any normal teenager run away to a gay bar in West Hollywood.

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youarefkgstopid at 9:24 AM October 20, 2011

#1-come on LibLA Times, keep this up...I'm retracting my First Amend. rights and following your rules...

#2-love all the armchair shrinks out there...since when did being overly/overtly cynical become the norm?

#3-this has to be the stopidist waiter to deal with the public..."are you the runaway kid I saw on the news that I'm refusing booze to but will let you sit in the bar with OJ?" Moron...just call the po po!!! Then again, WeHo popo are about as inept as they get. Gotta be splattered with blood and oozing, to get a bandaid. Nevermind. Waiter Of The Month. IQ is prob his tip %

#4-Why The Abby (free publicity!)? Santa Monica Blvd, WeHo? Hmmmm....

Ok, have at it, kids.....

  JavierRobles at 8:39 AM October 20, 2011

I know this isn't supposed to be funny, but... HE ENDED UP AT THE ABBEY????? HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! Ma'am, I think your kid is not only autistic, but also....

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bikey1 at 5:23 PM October 20, 2011

Lost?

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klingklangking at 8:13 AM October 20, 2011

I thought it was odd sending him without any money at all.

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Nacho1 at 6:44 AM October 20, 2011

The word "Autistic" is used too loosely now! Everyone is Autistic!! sheesh. Saw this kid on the news and I know why he ended up in West Hollywood and its not because he's Autistic.

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vontses at 10:29 AM October 20, 2011

hahahaha my thought exactly right... and vodka w orage juice lol classic .... hmmm mom and dad should probably keep him closer to them ...

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Suzi Q at 6:43 AM October 20, 2011

Lol! Wow! He ordered a vodka orange juice???

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joe-joe-vit at 5:46 AM October 20, 2011

First,  why is this kid not wanting to go to school, there must be a problem, and why do you let an autistic kid fly alone?Sounds like there are a lot more issues here to look into, needs to be investigated.

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Billy the Kid at 9:23 AM October 20, 2011

When you send your child to a school in Utah is because he needs serious behavioral interventions.  Of course he has issues, he is an autistic teen and that's the time when it gets better and regression of any gained social and self help skills is evident.

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aperak at 9:55 AM October 20, 2011

It is his parents who have the behavioral problems.

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SonjiPerez at 5:21 AM October 20, 2011

did anyone think to ask why he didnt want to go back to the school

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redruth at 5:05 AM October 20, 2011

You do not let an unaccompanied minor that has autism travel alone. As a father of an adult son who is autistic and travels alot, I know full well the challanges that can happen along the way. Did these people expect him to handle flight delays, cancellations, reroutings or the many other things that drive us crazy? I can see why he did not want to return to these people.

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minnestoafan at 7:34 PM October 19, 2011

He ended up in WEST HOLLYWOOD!! Does anyone else feel the same way I do about what probably happened to this boy!! But in politically correct left wing America we will never know the truth!

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Sharky1 at 8:22 PM October 19, 2011

Yeah. like I said below. based on my disabilities, I am vision and hearing impaired.  So. if I wander arouond. I will never find my way.  I could jup in any bus and where ever it takes me.  so that dude must feel the same way as I would.

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Zan Campbell-Vincent at 10:14 PM October 19, 2011

Don't you find it odd that your mind went THERE almost immediately?  He took a bus and ended up in West Hollywood, by himself, at a FAMOUS gay restaurant/coffee shop/bar.  Ever think maybe he went there intentionally?  He may be autistic, but it's clear he's pretty intelligent enough to get where he wanted to go.

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Bob T OCSouth at 10:22 PM October 19, 2011

This is hilarious. You people are so afraid of things that never happen. Anyway, want to know why a lot of these "schools" end up in Utah. Cause it is a lot easier to abuse kids who are a challenge.

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lindsay99 at 10:56 PM October 19, 2011

Did you read the part where people went out of their way to help this kid? No, your politically incorrect right wing mind decided that "those people" were moments away from selling him in to sex slavery. Instead of letting your bitterness and dirty mind dictate your opinions, realize that there are good and bad people across the spectrum.

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Michael Loose at 5:54 PM October 19, 2011

@vontses. 15 year olds are allowed to travel alone. The airline might have some responsibility to bear, but very little. If I was the parent, I would have remained in the gate area until I received confirmation from the airline that the flight is airborne before leaving.

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vontses at 10:37 AM October 20, 2011

ohh i did not know they were allowed to board alone at the age of 15 but then again first report stated he was 14 and also what about the fact that he is a special needs child? but now with the developing of the story parents did not mention that ether so totally the parents faul and the young boy who did not seem to be in so much of a special need he seems to know what he wants and what he is doing... well glad he is safe.

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OUTLAW at 4:41 PM October 19, 2011

The parents are allowed to go with the child to the plane and wait in the airport until the plane takes off, at least one parent is allowed to go through security.  I did this last summer with my daughter at John Wayne Airport.  I never left the airport until that plane took off.  I paid $200.00 to the airline for an escort so that my daughter would get to her connecting flight.  This was also the case when she came home.  Her father waited until the plane took off, then he left the airport.

I really hope they find this little guy.

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Sharky1 at 8:31 PM October 19, 2011

Yeah that is understoodable.  Some people who excourt you to the gate would stay there until the plane is on the air. then they go in their own seperate business.  sometimes though your friends or parents cant be there to watch you get on the plain and see the plane takes off.  I always have people meet me at the gate on where I am to go.  But in cases of a connection flight. where you stop over and transfer planes. that is the airport's job.  Now. that is against ADA law for airports to ask for more money to escort a person with disabilities around.  Usually they throw you on a wheelchair..  And one time I had like 3 people push the wheelchair up a ramp cuz I am heavyset. (they spoke pretty loud that I heard them complain about my weight)  I donno why. but I could walk.  last time I went. I just had my cane in front of me and they dont put me on wheelchair. but they sure made me wait til I am the last person out..

  Sharky1 at 3:54 PM October 19, 2011

No. Parents are not responsible in cases like this.  But how would they know if the flight is being delayed.  When someone wiht special needs boards the plane. it is the airport's job to make sure the well being of people with special needs are ok.

Let me tell you.  Me being legally blind and hard of hearing. which by all cases is concerered as deaf blind.  I need help while in airports.  I would get lost or wander around now even know where I am. where I should be or how to find a staff member for help.  So usually someone takes me to the gate. and if they cant stay long enough to watch me get in the plane and when the plane takes off. they would speak to the people on the desk and they will take care of that.  Sometimes though. they dont always keep you in check as I learn that.  other times the passengers would take care of that cuz they are lazy.  I think they should do a better job.  put them on wheelchairs is a poor excuse.

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Zan Campbell-Vincent at 10:16 PM October 19, 2011

From what I read in another article, the parents lied about his age (he's 14, not 15) to avoid paying the unaccompanied minor fee, then failed to mention his autism.  Sounds like the parents are pretty responsible.  

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vontses at 3:51 PM October 19, 2011

this airline has some explaining to do NO MINOR is to be left unattended while in custody of any Air LINE .... a flight attendant was to be with the boy at all times until a legal guardian was there to pick up the boy in this case until the plane was fixed and ready to board once again... huge law suit i hope the poor boy is found soon and safe.. god be with the parents who are probably going crazy right now

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mariela1 at 4:00 PM October 19, 2011

I AM SO SAD i hope they find him soon ... he must be scared .... I have a son with special needs .... :(

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nyu1232 at 9:41 PM October 20, 2011

Good luck with your GED vontses.

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crystals at 3:17 PM October 19, 2011

Thats so scarey.  I would think he'd be escorted as a passenger with special needs.  I couldnt let me kid fly alone like that anyway. I hope he's found soon.  Poor kid.

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flyerdarren at 2:53 PM October 19, 2011

Parents with unaccompanied minors boarding flights are generally required to remain at the airport until the flight is airborne. Same should apply for cases like this.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline hannahandrews

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Re: Gay teen flees to avoid Utah boarding school
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2011, 09:39:34 PM »
Poor kid. His parents should never have forced him to go to a boarding school if he didn't want to. They should have talked first and then decided together. I hope he'll be able to move past this ordeal.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2012, 04:14:09 AM by hannahandrews »

Offline Ursus

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Re: Gay teen flees to avoid Utah boarding school
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2011, 09:47:58 PM »
Quote from: "hannahandrews"
Poor kid. His parents should never have forced him to go to a boarding school if he didn't want to. They should have talked first and then decided together. I hope he'll be able to move past this ordeal.
I guess the Baisdens of "Turning Winds Academic Institute" know absolutely no shame, eh?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline cmack

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Re: Gay teen flees to avoid Utah boarding school
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2012, 08:19:05 PM »
Here's the story of another boy, Erik McBee, who got 'lost' on his way back to his boarding school.

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=38442&p=410771#p410771
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »