HALLANDALE BEACH (CBSMiami) — A 10-year-old boy and his mother are speaking out after two 2nd grade students were arrested for allegedly attacking the youngster and trying to steal his bicycle.READ MORE: Suspected Shoplifter Shot By Police After Pulling Weapon At The Falls Shopping Center In SW Miami-Dade
The Hallandale Beach Police Chief tells CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that he thinks the arresting officer went too far and should have been more lenient. And the mother of one of the arrested children says the incident was “taken out of proportion.”
The 10-year-old victim, whose first name is Joshua, told D’Oench he was followed by the young suspects on Monday when he left BF James Park at 777 N.W. 1st Avenue near his home.
“Right next to my home, those two kids came to me and said get off your bike,” said Joshua, who is a 5th grade student. “Then I said I didn’t want to and they tried to punch me. They punched me in the face and twice in the back of the head.”
Thankfully for Joshua, it was more of an ego bruised rather than physical pain.
“I’m okay but they should not have done this. It’s very bad. This is wrong. This was stealing,” said Joshua. “They should have been arrested. I wasn’t hurt bad and I was able to keep my bike.”
Last week, his cousin Kayla, whose face was also not shown to protect her identity, says the same children tried to steal her bicycle near the same park.
“I feel scared,” she said. “If we didn’t call police they would do it again. They could commit strong-arm robberies.”READ MORE: CDC's New Mask Mandate Encourages People To Get COVID Vaccinations
Joshua’s mother Pamela said, “They hit my son in the face and the back of the head. I call them the
kiddie gang. I feel awful and they were being influenced by older kids to committ the robberies.”
Donna Brown, whose 7-year-old son was arrested, said she thinks the children should not have been taken into custody.
“It was kind of upsetting and disappointing and frustrating. I think they took it out of proportion. I feel like kids will be kids. They were just playing around,” said Brown.
Police Chief Dwayne Flournoy said, “It’s very concerning when you have children and you have to make an arrest like this. Typically this does not occur. The arrests were made after consultations with the mothers and it was determined that the mother of the 8-year-old child and the mother of the 10 year-old child wanted this to go forward.”
He believes it could have been handled differently.
“It’s highly unusual for this to happen but I think instead of an arrest, we could have done something less intrusive, although this was a lawful arrest. They jointly attacked the child and intended to take his bicycle. He did have injuries,” said Flournoy. The arresting officer is not in any trouble.
Both the 7-year-old and 8-year-old boys are back home with their families after a detention hearing this week. They face another hearing on February 8th but it’s possible their cases will be resolved before then.MORE NEWS: 'There's More Aggression, More Confrontational Attitude': Miami Beach Police Chief On Increasing Safety, Security
Joshua said he has a message for the kids. “Do not steal or hurt anyone.”