Boy, 8, charged in assault on 9-year-old Child is threatened with pocket knife

November 24, 1992|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

Westminster police officers arrested an 8-year-old boy and charged him with assault after he pulled out a pocket knife and threatened to kill a 9-year-old boy, police reported yesterday.

The two boys -- both students at Robert Moton Elementary School -- were on a school bus Wednesday afternoon when they apparently began taunting each other, said Cpl. Rick May, a police spokesman.

Both boys got off the bus at the intersection of Charles and South Church streets and continued to argue, Corporal May said.

The 8-year-old boy told Officer David Reifsnider that the 9-year-old pushed him into the ground after they left the bus. The younger boy then told the 9-year-old that he "was going to kill him," the officer said.

The 8-year-old opened a pocket knife and pointed it at the 9-year-old, then ran toward home, the officer said.

Corporal May said the 9-year-old went home and asked his aunt to call police.

Neither child was injured, police said.

The 8-year-old was brought to the Westminster police station by his father Thursday afternoon, and Officer Reifsnider filed the assault charge.

Police would not say why they waited until yesterday to report the arrest.

The 8-year-old was released in his father's custody. He faces a hearing before a Department of Juvenile Services official in several weeks, at which he could be given a warning or be ordered to perform community service hours, Corporal May said.

According to Officer Reifsnider's report, the boys apparently had fought with each other, exchanging taunts, while they rode to and from school.

Though the arrest of children is unusual, Corporal May said that in some situations the experience prevents the youngster from becoming involved with the law again.

"If a child is prone to this kind of behavior, an arrest puts him into the system," the police spokesman said. "He should then be able to see the consequences of his actions."

School officials said yesterday they weren't aware of the student's arrest.

"This is news to me," said Dorothy Mangle, the school system's director of elementary education. "I don't even know if anyone at the school is aware of it."

Ms. Mangle said that if the incident had taken place at school or on the school bus, the school board's weapons policy might have been used.

That policy, which applies to all students over the age of 7, carries mandatory five-day suspensions for anyone found possessing a weapon.

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