Autistic man to live under supervision after child enticement chargeAn autistic man accused of attempting to entice a 4-year-old boy was approved for conditional release into the community a month ago.
By: Maria Lockwood, The Daily Telegram
An autistic man accused of attempting to entice a 4-year-old boy was approved for conditional release into the community a month ago. Monday, with a plan in place, Gregory Michael Doolittle returned to Superior.
For the next 10 years, he will live in a supervised setting at a Challenge Center residence where he will be provided with recommended treatment and therapy.
Douglas County Circuit Court Judge Michael Lucci found Doolittle, 23, not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect for one count of attempted child enticement in February.
According to court documents, the Superior man has a form of autism known as Asperger’s Syndrome. Characteristics of the disorder include socially and emotionally inappropriate behavior, the inability to interact successfully with peers, peculiarities in speech and language, and obsessive interest in narrow topics, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Those with Asperger’s syndrome are often isolated and considered eccentric.
Doolittle himself noted his lack of friends when questioned by Superior Police Officer Chris Moe after the enticement incident in September.
“(He) said that he liked playing with kids and that he has no friends his own age,” according to the criminal complaint.
Doolittle had been riding his bike past a Superior park when he stopped to play with two boys, ages 3 and 4. He then went to their house to play with them and the boys’ mother told him to leave. Doolittle asked the 4-year-old to come outside and look for his bike and the two walked along the house and down the alley. At that point, the boy’s grandmother called him home.
Doolittle told Moe he didn’t know what would have happened if the boy hadn’t been called back, “but he wouldn’t have hurt the boy.”
Monday, Lucci signed an order for Doolittle to be committed to the Department of Health and Family Services and an order for conditional release placement.
Both District Attorney Dan Blank and Public Defender Leslie Dollen agreed conditional release into the community was a better fit than institutionalization.
Lucci pointed to sections of a psychiatric report that indicated that Doolittle would have trouble duplicating vocational and interpersonal skills he learns to a new setting, so inpatient treatment was not recommended.
“We are all in agreement that jail is not the best place,” Blank said during a hearing on the case last month.