Thursday, March 5, 2020

Colorado police charge 10-year-old with felony for pointing toy gun at passing car

Gavin Carpenter was pretending to be a character in the video game “Fortnite” on July 24, when he spooked a driver by pointing a toy rifle with an orange tip at the man’s truck. The gun was fake, but the felony charge filed against a 10-year-old boy was very real, reported the Washington Post.
The driver slammed on his brakes, causing the tires to screech against the pavement. Then, he began yelling at Gavin and his friend, who had aimed a bright orange Nerf crossbow at the truck.
The man followed the bewildered boys, who ran into a grandparent’s nearby home in Colorado Springs. Video captured by a Ring doorbell camera shows the man yelling at an adult who answered the door.
“I don’t know what kind of gun it is. It was some kind of gun,” the unnamed driver shouted.
“Would you like to watch your mouth, please?” someone said from inside the home.
“How about this?” the man continued to yell. “How about I call the [expletive] cops?”
Minutes later, El Paso County Sheriff’s deputies handcuffed Gavin, who was 10 years old at the time. Officers escorted Gavin to a booking center, where he was fingerprinted and had a mug shot taken. Then, the boy was charged with a felony for menacing.
“I was, at the time, very scared,” Gavin told KXRM.
Seven months later, Gavin’s family made the story of his arrest and prosecution public, after successfully expunging the charge from the boy’s criminal record.
Gavin’s parents, Chris and Stefanie Carpenter, hired a lawyer and tried to persuade the district attorney to drop the case.
“It was just a hard no,” Chris Carpenter told KXRM. “The DA was not going to throw this out.”
Instead, Gavin entered a diversion program that required him to complete community service hours and submit his grades for the court to review, but it also allowed him to erase the charge from his criminal record if he completed the program.
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