*It’s hard to believe anything the police say these days. But you also have to look at some of the actions behind the words. These actions include an alleged mugging and arson scheme in Brooklyn. The perpetrator is allegedly a 10-year-old boy who NYPD has named the youngest gang member in New York.
The New York Daily News reports the child, whose identity has been withheld due to his age, was arrested for the alleged mugging of a 67-year old woman on Monday. He had also been accused of setting merchandise in a local store on fire hours later.
According to police, the kid’s actions were an initiation ritual into the Brooklyn gang, Stone Crips.
Though we assume police have seen it all, this child’s age was a shocker to Assistant Commissioner Kevin O’Connor of the Juvenile Justice Division; especially as it relates to gang members in New York.
“It’s uncommon to hear a 10-year-old in a gang,” O’Connor said. “It’s not uncommon to hear that kids are being influenced by them.” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton also called the child “a very troubled young individual.”
It appears tempers may run high in the family. As the mother and son were leaving the courthouse on Thursday, reports say the mother hit photographers with her purse and claimed the police are misjudging her son.
“My son is awesome. He’s a good kid,” the mother said. “You paint him like he’s all bad. He’s not.”
The family is said to be living in a privately owned homeless shelter in Brooklyn.
The boy has been charged with assault, attempted robbery and arson. And neighbors are leaning more towards the police assessment of the child, and less with the sentiments of his mother.
“If the system really knew about him, they’d think he was a terrorist,” neighbor Michael Palmer said. “I’m scared to do the things he does, and I’m 40 years old.”