TEMPLE, TX — On Tuesday, 30-year-old Sergei Hall, a man with autism, was arrested by a Temple PD officer. He is now hiring attorneys to make a change within the Temple Police Department.
"I'm proud i have autism because people are special that have differences," Hall told 25 News the day after he was arrested.
His friend, Patrick Arryn, has been by his side helping him through the traumatic event.
"He shed tears many times. We talked about it. The main thing he doesn't want people to think that he's a bad guy," said Arryn
The two men have been close friends since high school.
"i know Sergei, and I know he has certain behaviors, but it's not behaviors of a criminal. He doesn't have to be in jail," said Arryn.
But because Temple police tackled Sergei to the ground and arrested him, Arryn says Sergei is now afraid of cops.
"I told the officer I had autism and he didn't understand me," Hall said.
"I did tell him all police officers aren't bad. I give all the credit to those brave individuals who put that suit on and that badge on, but I know for sure this could've been preventable," said Arryn.
Arryn says Sergei's family is hiring attorneys, not because they're anti-police, but to make changes in the Temple Police Department and avoid situations like Sergei's from happening again.
"The ultimate goal, I believe, there needs to be better training, not just with autistic people and police interaction but with people in general," said Arryn.
The family has hired criminal attorney Michael White to clear Sergei's charges and are working to finalize a civil attorney.
"Our officials in Temple need to do a way better job of communicating when cases like this happen, because it wont leave individuals like myself and others in the community asking so many questions and speculating so many things," said Arryn.
Arryn says Sergei will be a greeter at Vista Community Church on Sunday for the 10 a.m. service.
He's also planning a dinner on Monday for the community to get to know him. The details are still in the works.