Huffpost Crime

8-Year-Old Boy Faces Felony Charges After Tantrum

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Edward Hart
Edward Hart

Parents can't understand it. Police don't support it.

An 8-year-old Michigan boy faces felony charges following an outburst in the back of a police car.

Edward Hart, 8, attends a special needs school. His stepfather, Robert Bluhm, says that staff at Hillside Learning and Behavior Center know about his son's anger issues. He told reporters that he was shocked at the way educators handled the situation when his son ran away from the school on March 19.

"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 told Fox affiliate WXMI. “If they had him under control, why didn’t they ride with him in the back of this cop car?”

In a phone interview with The Huffington Post, Mark Dobias, superintendent of the Allegen Area Eductional Service Agency, called the incident "unfortunate," but said that the school staff acted according to their training.

"I'm confident that the teachers followed protocol and were using their best judgment," Dobias said Tuesday.

Teachers caught up with Edward shortly after he ran away during school. Allegen City Police were called to the scene and asked to transport the child back to school. According to a police report, the boy then cursed at an officer and assaulted him. He was put in the backseat of the cruiser, where he allegedly broke a security camera.

Bluhm said he's disciplined his son. Police told WXMI that the only thing they're looking for is $50.00 to replace the camera. Neither party can understand why prosecutors charged the boy with malicious destruction of police property and resisting and obstructing -- both felonies.

Prosecuting attorney Frederick Anderson said that the charges stand, and that it'll be up to the courts to decide whether to pursue them.

The boy has been suspended from the school.

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