Father protests use of shackles on boy, 10

Youth charged with breaking window

April 21, 1999|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

The father of a 10-year-old Elkton boy charged with breaking a window said yesterday that a Carroll County sheriff's deputy was wrong to put his son in handcuffs and leg shackles while transporting him to Westminster for a hearing.

The father, who is not being identified to protect the privacy of his son, said the principal at his son's elementary school called him at work Monday to let him know that a Cecil County deputy had arrested the boy at school for missing an appearance in Carroll juvenile court and was taking him to the sheriff's office.

After the father gave the Cecil deputy permission to drive his son to the sheriff's office, the boy walked out of school, got in the police car and fastened his own seat belt, said Karen Emery, a Cecil County schools spokeswoman.

"We waited 4 1/2 hours before the Carroll County deputy arrived," the father said yesterday. "He had no right to take my son out in handcuffs and shackles, all over a broken window. The deputies in Cecil County did it the right way -- without handcuffs."

The father said if police had called him first, he would have made sure to have the boy in Carroll for his court appearance.

Carroll County Sheriff Kenneth L. Tregoning defended his deputy yesterday, saying handcuffs and leg shackles are standard policy regardless of the prisoner's age.

The boy was picked up on a bench warrant for failing to appear in juvenile court, Tregoning said.

The father said yesterday in juvenile court in Westminster that he was not aware of his son's scheduled hearing in juvenile court or the bench warrant.

He said his son was released to his custody.

"We'll definitely be back in Carroll County for the new hearing," the father said. "I've told [my son] that if he did something wrong, he has to own up to it.

"He's in pretty good spirits now, but I can tell you he was not very happy when he left in handcuffs and shackles. He hugged me and begged me to help him, but I couldn't do anything to help at that point. The deputy just said it was their policy and wouldn't take him without the handcuffs and the shackles."

The boy was returned to juvenile court in Westminster early yesterday, where his father joined him.

Pub Date: 4/21/99

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