Student arrested of looking too old

Alexis Sumpter 
By: David Ross 

If you look too old in New York City, beware, you might get arrested.

Police officers beat and handcuffed a student in New York City, after mistakenly believing that the 15-year-old was too old to use a student Metro Card.

Now, police in New York have opened an investigation into the complaint.

Alexis Sumpter, 15, was not officially arrested or given a summons for the July 26 interaction, but she said she was shocked and humiliated by the experience and detained for more than 90 minutes.

"They called me a liar," she recalled. "Then, they grabbed me by my arms and threw me down the stairs. I kept pleading, I am only 15, Why are you doing this? They said they did not owe me an explanation," she said.

According to Sumpter, who is a student at Harlem Village Academies, she had just finished summer school and headed to the center for her first day at boarding school of marketing located on Canal Street.

She used her student Metro Card from the Department of Education, and the card is valid until August 17. The card was used correctly at the 125 station and she sat on the bench while waiting for the train on platform A.

Two men approached her, said Alexis, but they were wearing civilian clothes and she was concerned that the police were impostors. The police could have come after seeing a light at the subway turnstile indicating that a student card had been stolen.

They demanded to know her age, she said. She told them she was 15, but she had no identification because she was recently assaulted for her iPhone and wallet.

"They approach me in a rude way and they were very rude all the time," she said. "They talked to me as if they were trying to prove they were superior to me," she said.

Near the entrance to the station, a third officer got involved, pressing her face against the wall while the others handcuffed her.

The police called her father, William, a Con Ed worker, to confirm her age. Still incredulous, they called her mother, who said she ran to the scene, where police told her that Alexis looked like an adult.

The mother, Marisol Sumpter, ran back to the family home to bring a birth certificate, and returned to the station. Only then did police remove the handcuffs and released Alexis.