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Autistic Boy Falls Out Window

April 24, 2002

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DENVER (AP) _ A woman was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and accused of throwing her 7-year-old autistic son from a third-floor window.

The child, whose name was not released, was in serious condition Tuesday at Children’s Hospital after he tumbled from the bedroom window of an apartment that he and his mother, Cecelia Martinez, 31, were visiting Sunday. The hospital did not immediately return calls about the boy’s condition Wednesday.

At a court hearing Tuesday, Martinez was told that prosecutors could also file charges of attempted murder, child abuse and assault against her. No bail was immediately set. She has no previous arrest record.

Police say they do not believe the boy could have jumped or fallen from the window by himself.

``It would have been difficult at best for the child to have done this to himself,″ Lt. Jon Priest said.

Martinez’s boyfriend, Clint Fenner, 38, said the fall was accidental.

Fenner said his roommate told him the little boy was alone in the bedroom and leaned against a window screen that gave way. Martinez was in the living room, said Fenner, who was not home at the time.

``She didn’t throw no kid out the window,″ Fenner said.

Autism is an incurable neurological disorder that affects about one of every 1,000 children. It prevents individuals from properly understanding what they see, hear and sense and can result in severe problems with social relationships, communication and behavior.

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On the Net:

http://www.autism-society.org/