This Kid's Rap Sheet Is Taller Than He Is

ByABC News

Aug. 4, 2005 -- -- On the surface, Conrad looks like a cute kid -- like Opie from Mayberry. But he isn't.

He's 16 years old, and just under 70 lbs -- because he was hooked on meth and not eating or sleeping. He's about five feet tall -- and his rap sheet is taller than he is.

He's been banned from mainstream schools in the state of Arizona because of numerous fights, thefts, weapons charges, drugs and alcohol.

The worst thing he's ever done? "Oh, I assaulted someone, with a knife," he said. "He made me mad, so I hurt him."

So when "Primetime" recently visited the Adobe Mountain School, one of the "safe schools" in Arizona's juvenile corrections system, Conrad was there for the third time.

He had been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. He told "Primetime" co-anchor he hoped it would be his last visit.

"I'm here to learn and to not make the mistakes again, so I don't come back here for the fourth time," he said.

Conrad says his troubles stem from drugs. "I got hooked on drugs. Doing drugs with my mom," he said.

Conrad also has a history of fighting. "I grew up being abused, physically and emotionally and mentally abused by my mom. And now ever since I came out to Arizona, I've been a very, very angry kid," he said.

Many kids make claims, but state records show Conrad's mother pled no contest to child cruelty and Conrad was taken into state custody for stints when just a child.

Conrad was this way even when he was young. People tried to treat him with discipline and talk therapy, but they were not much use.

Eventually, doctors diagnosed him with bi-polar and attention deficit disorders, and on his second visit to Adobe, they found that an expensive drug called Trileptol showed signs of helping.

Conrad calls it a "mood stabilizer." His stepmother says when he takes it, "he's calmed down a whole lot. The medicine makes a big difference for him."

Unfortunately, when Conrad was released that second time, his parents could not afford to keep up his prescription, and insurance wouldn't pay.

Conrad quickly spun out of control -- "breaking into cars, stealing things, just general bad behavior," his father said.

"My dad told me to stay home. I told him you're not the boss of me. You can go to hell. And I just walked out."

Conrad's parents recently found a way to get the medication he needs when he leaves Adobe. The rest is now up to him.

He is still working on changing, struggling with volatile moods, and learning to focus. "Most of the time with staff when they tell me no it's a test for me. Sometimes I handle it like I should and like sometimes I don't," he said.

"I want to behave differently," Conrad told Cuomo. "I was put on this earth for a reason, and it wasn't to be bad, it was to do what I have to not go to jail."

Conrad has an interest in flying planes and a friend of his parents promised him if he gets out and behaves he would give him flying lessons.

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