A Fort Carson family revealed their legal nightmare after their 10-year-old son was arrested and charged with Felony Menacing, a Class 5 felony, which was eventually expunged.
10-year-old Gavin Carpenter stated: “They came back over, told me my rights, and told me what was going to happen. They put handcuffs on me, and I got into the car.”
In an exclusive interview with FOX21, Gavin stated that he and a friend were playing a version of Fortnite near N. Powers Blvd and Constitution Ave.
“The toy bow was an orange Nerf bow. It didn’t work. Nothing could shoot out of it. Nothing would come out of it. The weapon, well toy I had, had an orange tip. It was also broken and couldn’t shoot anything out of it,” he said.
Gavin stated that they pretended to shoot 5 to 10 cars until one car stopped, and the two boys ran to the friend’s grandparents’ house.
“He slammed his breaks and started reversing as fast as he could. He came up and started getting very heated and was very mad. I was at the time, very scared,” Gavin said.
The man called police, and according to Gavin’s family, El Paso County Sheriff’s deputies arrested both Gavin and his friend. The boys were handcuffed and taken to the Colorado Springs Police Department for mugshots and fingerprinting.
“I told them I had no intention to have scared them or have any threat to their life,” Gavin stated.
Chris and Stephanie, Gavin’s parents, followed the patrol cars to the station, and stated that Gavin wasn’t released until 10:30 p.m. that night.
They hired an attorney to get the charge expunged from Gavin’s record. They received a court date, but when they arrived, they were taken into a separate room instead of seeing a judge.
“It was just a hard no, that the District Attorney wasn’t going to throw this out,” Chris said. “That is when we moved into the diversion program.”
Under the diversion program, Gavin was required to do community service, submit an essay, and other tasks before his record could be expunged. After 216 days, Gavin’s felony record was finally expunged.
“So if you run his name, nothing will show up, but he did have a Class Five Felony on there for at least half a year,” Chris stated.
His parents stated that the experience had been a learning lesson, not only for Gavin, but for them as well.
“The kids don’t understand the way the world thinks right now,” Stephanie said. “So, they don’t know what we know…they are kids.”
Chris stated that the experience was traumatic for his son, and explained his strategy to get the two boys to trust law enforcement again: “We’re trying to establish now for the boys a few events to help build trust in law enforcement because it was shattered. We want them to not be scared and show that law enforcement is their friends, and they need to show them the proper respect.”
When asked about the arrest, the sheriff’s office responded: “If anyone is dissatisfied with the actions of any employee of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, they have administrative avenues available to them. We encourage citizens to take advantage of those avenues.”
Sources: Fox 21 News