Sam Robbins, an 8-year-old boy from North Carolina, faced two felony charges after he fired his BB gun.
Sam’s parents, Ray and Cheery, explained to reporters that it all started humbly enough. About a month ago, Cherry was supervising Sam as he played in their back yard. Cherry warned her son not to run off and then stepped inside for a moment to put dinner in the oven.
But boys will be boys, as the saying goes. Sam ran off and fired his BB gun at a nearby abandoned house. One of the pellets happened to hit a moving a car.
To their credit, the Robbins family handled the incident admirably. Cherry immediately phoned the sheriff to report the incident and she offered to pay for the damages to the car. Neither the police nor the driver decided to press any charges – they left punishment up to Sam’s parents. Cherry and Ray confiscated Sam’s gun and forced him to do community service at their church to make up for the $350 repair bill on the motorist’s car.
That wasn’t good enough for the Department of Juvenile Justice. The Robbins family received a letter from the DOJJ warning that Sam had been summoned to court.
Ray and Cherry expressed their outrage over the two felony charges, which the DOJJ claimed was a violent felony. Ray told reporters, “We couldn’t imagine Sam standing in front of the court -- as a judge read him the charges. How is he supposed to understand that? He’s eight years old.”
On the day before Sam’s scheduled appearance in court, which just so happened to be Sam’s birthday, the boy was terrified. Ray explained, “That night he was shaking -- he was so cared he was shaking. He didn’t know what going to court meant but he knew that it was serious.” If convicted, Sam could have faced a criminal record, a year of probation, and hundreds of hours of community service.
Luckily, the DOJJ dropped the charges. The Robbins family dodged a bullet (or a BB pellet, as the case may be), but Ray promised that it would still be a while before Sam earned the privilege of using his BB gun again.
Source: Town Hall