ORIGINAL POST: Baltimore police officers took four elementary school children out of a school in handcuffs on Thursday and charged them with assault in connection with a fracas that occurred 10 days ago in park Morrell Park, authorities confirmed.
The seriousness of the charges warranted the action, even for three 9-year-old girls and an 8-year-old boy, police said, noting that one child says his head was held under water and another was forced to lie on a railroad track.
The grandfather of one of the female suspects said that the children who were arrested had retaliated against a group of boys who beat them with sticks as they played on a swing set in Morrell Park.
Details are still unfolding. The grandfather is angry with the school system for not contacting him or other parents about the arrests; police called him after his granddaughter had been taken to a juvenile booking center. He said the 9-year-old was held there from 12:30 p.m. to nearly midnight on Friday.
Baltimore police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that officers "handled the detentions as we would any felony suspect." He said officers worked with administrtators at Morrell Park Elmentary School to get the childre out of a classroom and to an office, where they were handcuffed.
Explaining the cuffs, Guglielmi said, "I think what they did to the victims speaks for itself."
We'll have more details as they come in.