8-year-old MI boy faces 2 felony charges
POSTED: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 10:56am
UPDATED: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - 3:16pm
Allegan Couinty (WXMI) -- Edward Hart, 8, faces two felony counts after an altercation with police and damage done inside a police vehicle, according to court documents.
"I don't even think he did anything wrong in this case. He's special need[s]," Robert Bluhm said.
Bluhm said his stepson, Edward, ran away from the Hillside Learning and Behavior Center in Allegan. That's where Edward Hart attends school. The incident happened March 19th.
An Allegan police report lays out what happened from the responding officer's perspective. The report states a teacher and the principal chased after the 8-year-old. A third teacher caught up with Edward at a party store, a block away off of M-40.
Bluhm said, "He's ran away from the school before. He has, and he's made it to M- 40 before, but he's never made it as far as he did this time."
Police were called to help, and according to the their report, school staff requested the officer drive Edward back to the school. When he was asked his name, Edward is said to have cursed at the officer and assaulted him.
"He has special needs. He has anger issues. They know this, and they're going to throw him in the back of a cop car all by himself," Bluhm said.
The officer said Edward broke the rear police camera in the back of the car. As a result, the 8-year-old faces charges of malicious destruction of police property and
resisting and obstructing.
"If they had him under control, why didn't they ride with him in the back of this cop car. So this incident would have never took place?"
FOX 17 asked if parenting played a role in Edward's behavior.
"We did. We disciplined him majorly. He has a day in a timeout chair. He had one week with no TV and he lost his [Nintendo] DS for life, we took it away because if we have to pay for this camera and pawn that off," Bluhm explained.
That's all the Allegan City police chief said the department is asking for – a $50 payment to repair the broken camera. The police report said Edward's mother was informed of the pending juvenile charges.
Chief Rick Hoyer wouldn't go on camera, but he told FOX17 the goal is to recoup the money. Hoyer said he doesn't agree with the prosecutor's office decision to charge the 8-year-old criminally.
Bluhm said, "When I called the school to ask questions – why nobody rode with the minor child to the school instead of just throwing him in the back of a cop car – they had no answers for me. They couldn't answer that question."
The superintendent told FOX 17 he doesn't comment on individual students, but he said he's confident that all protocols were followed in this situation and that things were handled properly.
As far as the charges go, prosecuting attorney Frederick Anderson said he couldn't comment on the case since it involves a minor. He said the charges stand. The student will need to undergo counseling and then the court will determine whether those charges should be pursued.