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Thread: Autistic teen Samuel Koets (16) died after being left unattended while his arms were restrained and he fell into a pool

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    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Autistic teen Samuel Koets (16) died after being left unattended while his arms were restrained and he fell into a pool

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime...out&li=BBnb7Kz

    Timothy Koets, 51, was sentenced Monday to a minimum of two years in prison and a maximum of 15 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter. He had pleaded guilty in December to involuntary manslaughter and child abuse in the March 2019 death of 16-year-old Samuel Koets.

    ?Sam had value, and the sanction will not restore Sam, but it will recognize that all humans have value, and because of the neglect you committed, a valuable human has lost his life,? said Ottawa County Circuit Court Judge Jon Hulsing.

    Samuel Koets drowned in the backyard pool at the family?s home in Georgetown Township, about 170 miles (270 kilometers) west of Detroit. His parents said he had autism, was nonverbal and functioned at the level of a 13- to 17-month-old child.

    Samuel's arms were bound to keep them restrained, and authorities said Timothy and Michelle Koets would restrain Samuel?s arms to prevent him from harming himself or others.

    Timothy Koets previously admitted in court that he was negligent for leaving his son unsupervised on a back deck before he left for work to teach classes at Grand Rapids Community College.

    He said he woke his wife before leaving so she could watch Samuel. But Michelle Koets, who had worked a night shift as a registered nurse, fell back asleep after her husband said he was leaving.

    Authorities said Koets knew his son had later gotten into the icy pool because his 13-year-old daughter texted him a photo of his son standing in the water.

    The daughter told police she went around the house yelling for her mother, but no one answered. She said she saw her brother's arms were restrained and then left, but her father then asked her to check on the ?freak,? the Grand Rapids Press reported.

    According to court records, Koets' daughter replied that she thought her brother was stuck and sent her father another photo, showing him chest-deep in the pool water.

    Koets instructed the daughter to get her mother, and after she shook her mother awake Michelle Koets sprinted to get her son out of the pool, where he had spent an hour. But Samuel had gone under and couldn?t be resuscitated despite attempts by arriving rescuers.

    Koets? attorney David Kallman called the situation a ?very unique and tragic? case, noting in court Monday that his client will have to live with the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life.

    But Paul Kraus, Ottawa County prosecuting attorney, said Monday that Samuel was ?routinely" left unattended even though he could not care for himself. He said authorities had been called 15 times to the family home, mainly because Samuel ?was unattended and had escaped from the residence.?

    Timothy Koets told the court he and the family learned to manage Samuel?s autism as best as they could and mentioned that he had used the word ?freak" to describe his son in a text conversation with his daughter.

    ?The words that I used were not good," he said Monday. ?It was a way of blowing off steam and I?m not excusing myself for that, but I would never harm or abuse Sam."

    After their son?s death, authorities said the Koets continued to fill their son?s Ritalin prescription for months and used the drugs themselves.

    Koets was also sentenced Monday to between two and four years in prison in the Ritalin case after also pleading guilty to obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.

    Michelle Koets was sentenced in June 2019 to 21 days in jail on a misdemeanor charge of obtaining a controlled substance by false representation.

    Timothy Koets had been a full-time faculty member at Grand Rapids Community College, but he was terminated by the school in January 2020.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Angiebla's Avatar
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    It sounds like he had more going on than autism. He sounds severely MR/DD. If he functioned at a level of a 13-17 month old baby but was in the body of a 16 year old he should have a caretaker or be in a home. He needs 24/7 care.

    Would any sane person leave a 13 month old unattended? That's child neglect.

    What gets me is the dad knew he was in the pool, and couldn't swim, but did nothing. That poor 13 year old is probably traumatized.

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    Cranjis McBasketball Nic B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    It sounds like he had more going on than autism. He sounds severely MR/DD. If he functioned at a level of a 13-17 month old baby but was in the body of a 16 year old he should have a caretaker or be in a home. He needs 24/7 care.

    Would any sane person leave a 13 month old unattended? That's child neglect.

    What gets me is the dad knew he was in the pool, and couldn't swim, but did nothing. That poor 13 year old is probably traumatized.
    Not to mention the pool was icy. Sounds to me like the dad wanted the "problem to take care of itself." What a piece of shit.


    Quote Originally Posted by marakisses View Post
    yes i said i will leave it under you storage he said cuddle with me i said shut up it over??? what am i doing wrong??

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    Senior Member KimTisha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    It sounds like he had more going on than autism. He sounds severely MR/DD. If he functioned at a level of a 13-17 month old baby but was in the body of a 16 year old he should have a caretaker or be in a home. He needs 24/7 care.

    Would any sane person leave a 13 month old unattended? That's child neglect.

    What gets me is the dad knew he was in the pool, and couldn't swim, but did nothing. That poor 13 year old is probably traumatized.
    This.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nic B View Post
    Not to mention the pool was icy. Sounds to me like the dad wanted the "problem to take care of itself." What a piece of shit.
    And this. They were taking his ritalin, that poor kid probably never got his meds either. Also, Mom deserves more than 21 days.
    You are talking to a woman who has laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom and chuckled at catastrophe.
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    Cranjis McBasketball Nic B's Avatar
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    There was an image of him in the pool, I saw it on reddit's "last images" thread. So sad...


    Quote Originally Posted by marakisses View Post
    yes i said i will leave it under you storage he said cuddle with me i said shut up it over??? what am i doing wrong??

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    Senior Member KimTisha's Avatar
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    Wait. I thought he "rolled" into the pool. He had to climb into this pool:

    You are talking to a woman who has laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom and chuckled at catastrophe.
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    Cranjis McBasketball Nic B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimTisha View Post
    Wait. I thought he "rolled" into the pool. He had to climb into this pool:

    Those are the pics I saw, so sad that someone could take them and not help him. He must've been freezing


    Quote Originally Posted by marakisses View Post
    yes i said i will leave it under you storage he said cuddle with me i said shut up it over??? what am i doing wrong??

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    I was doing ok until the pictures. Oh my gosh, that poor kid. I just don’t understand how parents like these are able to keep custody of their kids after fifteen calls. Kids, elderly or animals, I wish we could protect those that can’t protect themselves.

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    Senior Member captainjillian's Avatar
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    Not defending these people at ALL because no, this wasn't the way to go, but I know several families with extremely DD and MR children and the resources are just not there a lot of the time. It's easy to say they should have placed them somewhere else, or CPS should have taken them but a lot of the time there's just not anywhere for them to go due to space, cost, etc.

    Like, they referred to him as the freak and obviously had trouble keeping up with his needs, I'm sure if they had the ability to place him somewhere or get more home care for him they would have taken it.
    RIP Sam, I hope that you had some happiness in your life.


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    Cranjis McBasketball Nic B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by captainjillian View Post
    Not defending these people at ALL because no, this wasn't the way to go, but I know several families with extremely DD and MR children and the resources are just not there a lot of the time. It's easy to say they should have placed them somewhere else, or CPS should have taken them but a lot of the time there's just not anywhere for them to go due to space, cost, etc.

    Like, they referred to him as the freak and obviously had trouble keeping up with his needs, I'm sure if they had the ability to place him somewhere or get more home care for him they would have taken it.
    RIP Sam, I hope that you had some happiness in your life.
    How about in the goddamn house at least? They left him outside in the freezing cold. I just can't make any excuse for that...


    Quote Originally Posted by marakisses View Post
    yes i said i will leave it under you storage he said cuddle with me i said shut up it over??? what am i doing wrong??

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    Senior Member Angiebla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by captainjillian View Post
    Not defending these people at ALL because no, this wasn't the way to go, but I know several families with extremely DD and MR children and the resources are just not there a lot of the time. It's easy to say they should have placed them somewhere else, or CPS should have taken them but a lot of the time there's just not anywhere for them to go due to space, cost, etc.

    Like, they referred to him as the freak and obviously had trouble keeping up with his needs, I'm sure if they had the ability to place him somewhere or get more home care for him they would have taken it.
    RIP Sam, I hope that you had some happiness in your life.
    I agree with you. Not everyone has the financial means to have a caretaker or put a child in a facility.

    I just don't see how tying his hands together and putting him outside in the freezing cold was a good idea. Could he not have wandered off?

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

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    Senior Member captainjillian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    I agree with you. Not everyone has the financial means to have a caretaker or put a child in a facility.

    I just don't see how tying his hands together and putting him outside in the freezing cold was a good idea. Could he not have wandered off?
    Oh no, I totally agree with y'all, he shouldn't have been outside for sure. I'm more addressing that people on Reddit are like "why didn't they just ask for help if they couldn't handle him."
    Like, I'm sure they did. But there just wasn't any to be found.
    They should absolutely be charged with something for this though because you can't just leave your disabled child outside and hope they don't wander off or drown.


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    Senior Member KimTisha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nic B View Post
    Those are the pics I saw, so sad that someone could take them and not help him. He must've been freezing
    I think these are probably the photos his little sister took and sent to her father. I think the article said she was 12 or 13? It looks like the pool is covered and partially inground. Maybe she was afraid to go into the water, or maybe she can't physically handle her brother. She seems to be the only responsible one in the family to be honest. I'm sure she's suffering from some guilt for not being able to save him.
    You are talking to a woman who has laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom and chuckled at catastrophe.
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