Boy slapped on camera: Photog met family before police did

Boy slapped on camera: Photog met family before police did
Photo courtesy Nick Page

EUGENE, Ore. - Days before a bystander shot video of a police officer restraining and, at one point, slapping a boy while enforcing a court order, Nick Page photographed the boy's mother and the inside of the bus they live in.

"My first reaction was these poor children because they were all dirty and bare foot and it was like 100 degrees out and they were obviously really hot," Page said of the shoot in eastern Washington.

The woman in the photos is the same woman disputing officers about a court order Sunday in Eugene at Monroe Park. Police took a 10-year-old boy into custody, enforcing a court order awarding parental rights to the boy's biological father, the Eugene Police department said.

At one point, the boy bit an officer's hand. The officer slapped the boy's forehead.

Page said the woman is part of the Sol Tribe, a group of people who live like nomads.

Efforts to reach the mother via the Sol Tribe Facebook page did not work.

Page shared his photographs after the much publicized incident Sunday. Police said the mother, who lived in a bus, and her friends urged the boy to run from police.

According to police, the boy shared details of his life.

"He's seen no dentist, no medical attention, and he hadn't been to school," Lt. Sam Kamkar with Eugene Police said.

Sol Tribe's Facebook page says the boy has been homeschooled and has never ever missed a meal.

"I respect everyody's right to live their life their own way," the photographer, Page, said. "I guess at the time I felt that it was kind of almost a whimsical story of people living off of the grid."