Talk about really earning your paycheck (NOT)! An officer had handcuffed and arrested a 10-year-old who was then charged with Felony Menacing for playing with a toy gun outside. This is a Class 5 felony and it has already been expunged, but this story is certainly worth sharing.
The incident dates back to July of last year and Fox21 was lucky enough to get an interview with the Colorado family.
The kid says him and a friend were just outside playing with a toy Nerf bow, and were pretending to shoot at cars (probably a bad idea right there, kid). That's when one driver stopped, approached the kids who ran to a grandparents house, and the man called the cops.
Here's how the Fox21 story went:
“The toy bow was an orange Nerf bow. It didn’t work. Nothing could shoot out of it. Nothing would come out of it. The weapon, well toy I had, had an orange tip. It was also broken and couldn’t shoot anything out of it,” Gavin said.
Gavin stated they pretended to shoot at about 5 to 10 cars until one man stopped. He said he and his friend ran to his friend’s grandparents’ house.
“He slammed his breaks and started reversing as fast as he could,” Gavin said. “He came up and started getting very heated and was very mad. I was at the time, very scared.”
The man called the police. According to the Carpenter family, El Paso County Sheriff’s deputies arrived and arrested both Gavin and his friend. He was handcuffed and taken to the Colorado Springs Police Department for mugshots and fingerprinting.
Some man he is, right? Can't even leave the kids alone. Finally some kids are outside playing and NOT on a cell phone, and what's this guy do? Calls the cops... pathetic.
And what kind of cop actually arrests a couple of 10-year-olds for pointing a toy at a vehicle? They didn't even shoot at the cars and the Nerf toys are usually very brightly colored.
This is one of those times a police officer sits down with a kid and explains why it was wrong to point things at people who are driving. This is where the officer makes a bond with members of the community and it lasts a lot longer. This is how kids build trust in their officers, not by getting shackled and charged with a felony when they're barely in middle school.
At some point, you wonder where the real grown-ups went.
The mother of one of the boys posted a very long Facebook post about it.
Her name is Stefanie Magness Carpenter and she wrote:
I've been waiting 217 days to be able to share our story...on July 24, 2019 my 10 year old son, Gavin, got arrested for playing with a fake gun and a nerf gun while outside playing "Fortnite" with a friend at a house off post. Gavin was arrested for Menacing, a class 5 Felony. This is an extremely hard post to write as this has affected our whole family immensely. Especially our Gavin, who is terrified of law enforcement now and occasionally has flashbacks of the terrifying event. My point to telling the world what happened is to inform ALL parents that this could happen to anyone with children. We waited to tell our story until now because we had to wait until this was expunged from his record. The less people that knew the better until this nightmare was officially over. We got informed yesterday that this has officially been cleared and sealed off of his record. So I decided it was time to share. As all of you know, our entire family has been serving the United States as an Active Duty Army family for the past 18 years. We are a law abiding family, to say the least. To see your 10 year old son handcuffed, in the back of a cop car, in tears and scared to death is a vision I will never be able to erase out of my mind. And the 100% helpless feeling I have felt throughout this entire process. My hope is to educate you all so I can keep this from happening to anyone else. We obviously hired an attorney, filed to do a diversion program to keep his case from going to court. Gavin had to complete community hours and a list of other requirements to successfully finish the program. Once he was done, we filed for a complete expungement off his record. So as of yesterday, we are officially done with this living nightmare. Gavin and his 10 year old friend were outside playing with fake guns that were broken and not able to shoot any projectiles (nerf bullets). They pointed their toy/nerf guns at an oncoming truck, who got mad and tried to confront the boys. The boys were scared because he slammed on his breaks and squealed his tires and put the truck in reverse. The boys ran inside the grandparents house, where they were staying. Long story short, the El Paso County Police Department were called and ended up with both the boys being arrested and taken down to the police station to get fingerprints and mug shots taken. Right now we are trying to install faith back into Gavin that you can trust law enforcement, because after all of this he's scared to death of them. Unfortunately, our whole family has honestly lost respect. I thought Colorado would be the state that we came back to as a family after Chris retires from the military...but after all of this it is confirmed we do not want to EVER come back to this state. In fact, the next 2.5 months can't go quick enough as we are all ready to leave. I can't live in a state where my kids can't be kids and play outside without being scared of being arrested. I fully believe schools need to be educating children that this is a possibility. Had Gavin known....none of this would have happened. So sit back and take all of this in...it's still hard to believe. I'll make this post public so you can share my post. Because my first and foremost intention is to educate parents. This could have happened to any of us, and unfortunately it happened to us. Attached is the only picture I have from that night. The horrifying vision of my 10 year old son being led into the police department in handcuffs. We are so relieved that this is all over with on paper, but unfortunately Gavin will deal with the mental repercussions the rest of his life.
— with Chris Carpenter