Saturday, December 18, 2010

Police pull gun on, arrest boy, 12

They should have seen immediately that it was a makeshift toy gun and departed at that point. There was NO reason to say a word to the kid, let alone assault him

POLICE pulled their guns on a 12-year-old boy playing in a yard in the Northern Territory because they thought he was hiding behind a fence with a rifle. The "weapon" was a broken 1m-long curtain pole with black duct tape, the Northern Territory News reports.

Tom had to be treated for shock at hospital as a result of the incident.

His mother Terry Mahoney said she was devastated. "He was just a normal kid playing with a fake rifle," she said. She said Tom had been playing with the toy weapon outside a house in Palmerston last week, when he was cornered by police.

At least five officers sped to the scene in two paddy wagons and a blue patrol car. They jumped out of their vehicles, two of them drawing their guns, and urged the boy to drop his weapon.

He was told to sit down on the footpath and then a police officer put a hand on his shoulder and pushed him down," Ms Mahoney said. "I believe he ended up with handcuffs on one wrist."

Police confirmed yesterday they had responded to a call saying a person was "hiding behind a fence" with a weapon. They said police guns were drawn but dropped instantly when it was clear there was no threat. Reports of the boy having been handcuffed were not confirmed.

The incident happened only days after the small family was made homeless. "It just means another trauma that Tom has to deal with," Ms Mahoney said.


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