Undercover Officer Befriends Bipolar and Autistic Teen, Convinces Him To Buy Pot For Him, Then Arrests Him

Badge_of_the_Riverside_County_Sheriff's_DepartmentThe video below has been released in a lawsuit over a highly disturbing case where a Riverside undercover officer befriended a 17-year-old boy with autism and convinced him to buy pot for him. They then arrested him and added him to their list of drug war statistics. Before the arrest, in addition to autism, their son had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Tourette syndrome and anxiety disorders.

The teenager was one of 21 other high school students arrested on drug-dealing charges as part of a sting operation last December at Chaparral High School in Temecula, Calif. and neighboring schools. His parents, Catherine and Doug Snodgrass, are suing the Temecula Valley School District, alleging negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress. They say that their son has autism and did not have friends. That made him an ideal target for the undercover officer who befriended him. His parents were excited that he had made a friend. The video from the arrest is heart-breaking when the kid realized that Deputy Daniel Zipperstein of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in uniform was his friend, Daniel.

They say that Zipperstein hounded their son to sell him marijuana or his prescription medication and that after more than three weeks of constant pressure, the teen bought a half-joint from a homeless man and gave it to the officer. Half a joint. He then was convinced to make a second small buy but then refused to do it again. He was then arrested. Quite a trophy.

The parents say that the autistic teen is still reeling from the betrayal and arrest, including insomnia, panic attacks, depression, paranoia and infliction of self-injury, his parents said.

The Riverside Sheriff’s office has brushed aside the public outcry over the case and said that it “followed all pertinent laws and the case was reviewed by the DA’s Office. Had there been entrapment issues, the DA’s Office would not have filed the case.” In such case, the need for reform includes both the police and prosecutors.

58 thoughts on “Undercover Officer Befriends Bipolar and Autistic Teen, Convinces Him To Buy Pot For Him, Then Arrests Him

  1. This wasn’t one cop and one kid. 22 kids were arrested, most of whom were special ed kids. This wasn’t one bad cop. It was a policy for statistics that would get them more federal funds.

  2. bettykath, I like to accentuate the positive. We are in total agreement regarding the war on drugs. Cops do all sorts of hideous crap for stats. IMO, one of the worst is the “snitch out 2 friends and we’ll let you walk.” They will let one higher level bust walk for turning in 2 lower level busts. Isn’t it nice to agree? Well, it is for me.

  3. to bailers; a wake up. call it’s not a thousand years ago the violent holy war today is being fought by muslims against any who deny islam.anyways the boy has a legally defined mental illness what is the police and d.a’s excuse

  4. […] pick up in drug arrests. One of these people was an autistic, bipolar kid, Jesse Snodgrass. He was befriended by an undercover cop, who eventually persuaded him to buy a half joint from a homeless man and give […]

  5. […] is the outrage people should feel against the deadly & VERY expensive LOST war on some drugs. Undercover Officer Befriends Bipolar and Autistic Teen, Convinces Him To Buy Pot For Him, Then Arres… You'll like the moderator, but not the story he tells…near the end there is a ray of hope from a […]

  6. “deputy dan” is a sheriffs deputy. if you don’t like what deputy’s do, go after their boss, the sheriff. sheriff is an elected position, elect someone else. someone who will give deputy dan other duties. use your imagination on what those other duties might include.

  7. Who hires people that do this? Who hires people who hire people who do this? at some level, some f***ing politician is responsible, and he MUST be targeted for replacement.

  8. Evil cop probably entices the mentally diminished to engage in sexual activity for cash, and then charges them w/prostitution. This scumbag should spend time in general pop.

  9. All this outrage about the tactics that the Riverside Sheriff’s Department used in this case but Sheriff Stan Sniff was just reelected. Go figure.

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  11. This is as bad as the judges that were taking money to send kids to jail….and the cops & DA should be serving as much time as they took from innocent kids….like their whole lives….

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