A Post Falls, Idaho Police Chief was shocked when an arrest warrant for a 9-year-old boy landed on his desk. The boy was charged with “failure to appear” after he did not show up in court for a case involving a stolen pack of gum.
According to KHQ, Post Falls Chief of Police Scott Haug was surprised when an arrest warrant for a 9-year-old boy was placed on his desk earlier this week. Haug said arrest warrants for “failure to appear” are common; however, he says that in his 30 years on the force he had never seen an arrest warrant for a child so young.
Making the case even more mind boggling is that the court date was for an infraction that would send many 9-year-olds into time out, not into a juvenile detention center. The boy was charged with stealing a single pack of gum. After the theft, a court date was schedule and the boy missed it not once but twice. Therefore, Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney Barry McHugh said he had no choice but to file the arrest warrant.
However, not everyone agrees with McHugh’s hard stance on the issue. People Magazine reported on the case and noted that a 9-year-old boy has no means of transportation out side of his relatives. Relatives of the boy claim that they had no way to get the boy to the court hearing and never thought it would come to this.
Chief of Police Haug said he wishes it never would have come to this. Instead he feels the department should have been provided more information so they could have provided the family assistance instead of arresting the small boy.
“I was very surprised that it had gotten to this level. I wish we would have had some more information so we could have provided assistance.”
The boy has been arrested and is currently being housed in the Juvenile Detention Center waiting for his gum stealing case to be heard in front of a judge. Details regarding the alleged gum stealing incident are not known at this time as the case involves a minor. What is known is that a pack of gum couldn’t have cost more than a few dollars, and that would be a large pack of gum.
Do you agree with the prosecuting attorney or the police chief? Should the prosecuting attorney have provided additional information to the police department prior to issue the warrant so the officers could communicate with the family before the arrest?