10-13-2004, 08:47 PM #1Former Member
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- Aug 2003
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FL - 8-year-old handcuffed, charged with battery
It was a typical scuffle between two youngsters - some name-calling, a slap on the face, a punch to the stomach.
After it was over, however, Tallahassee police handcuffed the 8-year-old boy who picked the fight and took him to a juvenile facility Monday night, charging him with misdemeanor battery and criminal mischief.
"This was children's stuff, a disagreement between two neighborhood kids," said attorney Kathy Garner, now representing first-grader Isaac Sutton, who turned 8 last month. The boy's case was made public by his mother, Pamela Kelly.
"He just needs a good talking-to," Garner said Tuesday. "This doesn't need to be handled in the judicial system."
Assistant City Attorney Rick Courtemanche, the Tallahassee Police Department's legal adviser, said the arresting officer decided there was enough evidence to arrest the 4-foot-10, 70-pound boy. And city policy requires officers to handcuff juveniles when taking them to the county's Juvenile Assessment Center, he added.
But the boy's arrest raises the usual questions about arresting kids, including: At what age is there criminal intent?
Isaac's arrest comes about a month after Jefferson County deputies arrested a 7-year-old Monticello boy, charging him with battery in the hitting of a classmate, a teacher and a principal, and scratching a school resource officer.
Johnnie Lee Morris was placed on house arrest and faces expulsion from Jefferson Elementary School, where he was in second grade, reports said.
Here's what happened Monday in Tallahassee, according to the juvenile arrest report provided by his mother:
The 10-year-old victim, whose name was not released, said he was playing basketball Monday evening at the Tallahassee Housing Authority's Pinewood Place development. Isaac walked up and called him "a black chocolate chip." The victim said, "You are."
He then tried to walk away, but Isaac kept taunting him that he would hit him, until the victim said, "Try it." Isaac slapped him in the face. The victim then picked up a rock.
Isaac's 14-year-old sister, who was nearby, said she ran over to break up the fight, putting the victim in a headlock so he would drop the rock. Isaac punched the boy in the stomach, and everyone went their separate ways.
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