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9-year-old arrested for waving toy gun [arrested at gunpoint and handcuffed]
The Morning Journal ^ | 10-28-03 | The Morning Journal

Posted on 10/28/2003 11:28:38 PM PST by ambrose

9-year-old arrested for waving toy gun
MICHAEL C. FITZPATRICK , Morning Journal Writer 10/28/2003

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.



TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: banglist; donutwatch; pigs; toygun
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1 posted on 10/28/2003 11:28:39 PM PST by ambrose
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To: All

2 posted on 10/28/2003 11:30:26 PM PST by ambrose
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To: Travis McGee
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.
3 posted on 10/28/2003 11:31:35 PM PST by ambrose
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To: ambrose
Why does the image of Barney Fife come into my head when I read this?

If this happened forty years ago, the sergeant would have smacked the patrolman upside the head for being so damn stupid and causing a problem.

Kids do stupid things. Once they determined it was a toy gun, a strict lecture was in order. Instead, the kid gets arrested, and so does his mother for being so rash as to plead for the police to exhibit common sense in the situation.

It's just as bad here in NJ. Four boys were suspended for playing cops and robbers on the school playground, using their HANDS for guns. They were in kindergarten.They were humiliated by school personnel, and the parents hit the roof! It caused a big stink. Zero tolerance means never having to say you're sorry.
4 posted on 10/28/2003 11:41:58 PM PST by exit82 (Sound off to your elected reps in DC: Capitol switchboard toll free number 1-800-648-3516.)
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To: ambrose
When the Leftists scream about cops, in cases like this who can argue?
5 posted on 10/28/2003 11:49:55 PM PST by JoJo Gunn (Liberalism - Better Living through Histrionics )
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To: ambrose
Police Gone Wild. This is craziness. Sure you approach with caution when you aren't certain about a situation, but then you give 'em hell verbally.
6 posted on 10/28/2003 11:49:59 PM PST by Ruth A.
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To: ambrose; All
FYI all those who are interested;

Lorain is in OHIO, just west of Cleveland.

7 posted on 10/28/2003 11:55:39 PM PST by Drammach
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To: *bang_list
 
8 posted on 10/28/2003 11:57:16 PM PST by Djarum
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To: JoJo Gunn
The problem with liberals is that they would think the arrest of a nine year old waving a toy gun is a legitimate bust. However, when a cop arrests a murderer the libs would scream about human rights abuses.
9 posted on 10/28/2003 11:58:25 PM PST by Ajnin
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To: ambrose
Oh my.
10 posted on 10/29/2003 12:09:46 AM PST by Prodigal Son
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To: All
LMAO...are these cops for real?
11 posted on 10/29/2003 12:15:42 AM PST by Veracious Poet (Cash cows are sacred in America, just in case you didn't know. ;-)
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To: Drammach
Lorain is in OHIO, just west of Cleveland

I knew there had to be a rational explanation.

12 posted on 10/29/2003 12:17:02 AM PST by dasboot (Celebrate UNITY!)
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To: ambrose
Police response understandable; the follow-up, arresting the child, citing and threatening the Mother are beyond the pale - or sadly, used to be - before Liberalism became the accepted consciousness of the day.

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.

13 posted on 10/29/2003 12:19:44 AM PST by cricket
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To: ambrose
Thomas, who his mother said has been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, said he was frightened by the incident.

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?

14 posted on 10/29/2003 12:22:41 AM PST by Ronin (Qui docet discit!)
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To: ambrose
Something needs to be done, but what??
15 posted on 10/29/2003 12:24:49 AM PST by Porterville (American First, Human being Second; liberal your derivative lifestyle will never be normalized.)
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To: cricket
"Saturday Night Live" could only improve upon this story by having two guys walk by the cops hauling away a cash register from the beauty parlor without a second glance from the cops as read the kid his rights.
16 posted on 10/29/2003 12:25:48 AM PST by BulletBobCo
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17 posted on 10/29/2003 12:27:08 AM PST by Consort
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To: Porterville
"Something needs to be done, but what??"

Post pictures everywhere of the cop with the slogan "Child Molester".

18 posted on 10/29/2003 12:38:29 AM PST by roadcat
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To: roadcat
I think that would work, teach them about harrasment.
19 posted on 10/29/2003 12:47:00 AM PST by Porterville (American First, Human being Second; liberal your derivative lifestyle will never be normalized.)
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To: cricket
Why do you assume the action was "mindless", or "innocent"? Isn't it more likely that the whole point of these sorts of responses is to normalize hysterical overreaction to the mere sight of guns in the possession of anyone other than Government? You underestimate our enemies.

Once the majority of Americans regard guns with fear and horror, the Second Amendment is dead no matter what is written on a piece of paper. We are well along the way; I have had a hell of a time deprogramming my own kids from this State-programmed response.
20 posted on 10/29/2003 12:52:30 AM PST by Iconoclast2
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