Skip to comments.9-year-old arrested for waving toy gun [arrested at gunpoint and handcuffed]
Posted on 10/28/2003 11:28:38 PM PST by ambrose
| 9-year-old arrested for waving toy gun
LORAIN -- A 9-year-old boy was arrested at gunpoint and handcuffed Saturday because he was waving a toy gun over his head while seated on a bench outside a store, according to a Lorain police report.
His mother, Tamyka Saunders of Sheffield Lake, said her son, Thomas Clark Jr., told Lorain police when they approached him outside a Broadway business that the gun was a toy. An officer aimed his weapon at the boy's head, ordered him to the ground, handcuffed him and arrested him for juvenile delinquency by reason of inducing panic, according to the police report.
Saunders, 28, was also charged with obstruction of justice and resisting arrest when she pleaded with police not to arrest her son and to give him a warning, according to a police report.
''He doesn't deserve this. He is not a bad kid at all. That's what I was trying to explain to the officer. It's just not fair,'' Saunders said.
Saunders was getting her hair done at the Northern Institute of Cosmetology on Broadway near Seventh Street when the incident began.
Saunders said she and her son were spending the day together . Saunders said her son got his hair cut first, and then he went outside to play while waiting on her.
A passer-by who saw the boy playing just before noon with a gun -- described by police as a black plastic toy gun -- called police, who responded to the scene and found the boy ''waving what appeared to be a black handgun above his head,'' according to a police report. The report said the gun was spray painted black and resembled a genuine gun.
At that point, Officer Joe Novosielski confronted the boy at gunpoint, ordering him to drop the gun and then lie on the ground, the report said.
Thomas, who his mother said has been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, said he was frightened by the incident.
Lorain police said Novosielski handled the situation properly.
''Obviously, someone got scared and called the police. Nobody driving down the street could tell it was a toy gun, so that's where the panic comes in. We charge that to anyone doing that,'' Lt. Robert Poli said.
''We're not going to tolerate anyone walking down the street, sitting on a bench ... if he's waving a gun around,'' Poli said. ''You don't know it's a toy gun.''
Saunders said police were not even going to come inside the cosmetology institute to tell her they were arresting her son. She said she learned from another woman her son was being arrested.
Saunders, wearing curlers in her hair, said she raced out to the police car to attempt to intervene on her son's behalf.
''He (Novosielski) snatched me by the arm and cuffed me. People were just walking down the street shaking their heads. I did not cuss at him, and I did not yell at him, because I'm not that type of person. I feel I'm the one that was disrespected,'' Saunders said of her arrest.
When informed her son was being arrested, Saunders attempted to pull her son away from the officer but moved away when told to, according to the report.
Police said Saunders pleaded with them not to arrest her son and to ''just give him a warning,'' according to the report. She also told police her son ''was just playing'' and that he didn't point the gun at anyone before asking police, ''Don't you have anything better to do?''
Saunders was eventually arrested after refusing to move away from the cruiser where her son had been placed, the report said. The officer told her to finish her business at the beauty salon and then come to the station to pick up her son, according to the report.
She is free on $750 bond and is scheduled to appear in Lorain Municipal Court today. The report of Thomas' arrest was forwarded to the juvenile court system, according to the police report.
Lorain County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Mark Hastings said the report had not been received yet.
Lorain is in OHIO, just west of Cleveland.
I knew there had to be a rational explanation.
The question is, 'can we stop the insanity'?
As for poor Barney, he acted out of a kind of innocent ignorance; a naivete. His truth was he wanted to harm no-one.
This abusive action reminds me more of an 'Elian Gonzales' scenario. . .and the same for the kindergarteners using their fingers as guns . A mindless overkill. . .facilitated in this case by Zero Tolerance.
What rational human being would NOT be frightened by this?
I suppose if the kid had not dropped his toy the cop would have been justified putting a bullet through his nine-year-old noggin. Let's get real here. Yes, there are some replicas, pellet guns, etc., that are almost indistinguishable from the real thing.
I do not believe this was the case here. This was an obvious toy and the cop KNEW it was a toy, but went into his macho LAWMAN routine anyhow.
The questions then becomes, what in the heck was the kid arrested for? Having a toy gun is not, as far as I know, against the law. He dropped the thing when the cop told him to. Where is the justification for cuffing him and hauling him in?
Post pictures everywhere of the cop with the slogan "Child Molester".
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