A 10-year-old boy was prosecuted for a felony after he and his friend pointed unarmed Nerf guns at a passing vehicle and the driver alerted the authorities.
Gavin Carpenter lives with his parents at an Army post in Colorado Springs while his father finishes the final two-and-a-half months of his duty in the state.
At the end of last July, Gavin and one of his friends were spending time together at Gavin’s grandparent’s house and they decided they would go outside with Nerf guns and act out the popular video game Fortnite.
While the boys were engaged in their play session, they were standing near a road with vehicles passing by. They pointed the toy guns, which were broken and did not project any objects, at a truck that was driving by and the driver became disturbed by the action.
The man exited his vehicle and followed the children, who were reported as frightened, as they hurried into Gavin’s grandparent’s residence.
When the man from the truck reached the door he began to yell inside using inappropriate language, and he was asked to watch his mouth. In response, the man said he was going to call the police and report the incident with the boys.
When deputies from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department went to the home they placed both of the children under arrest.
Gavin was charged with felony menacing due to the incident, and his family obtained legal defense in an effort to ask the District Attorney to dismiss the case instead of choosing to file charges against the boy.
When the DA refused and moved forward with the lawsuit, Gavin’s attorney filed a motion asking that the child be allowed to participate in a diversion program instead of going through the court proceedings.
The motion was accepted, and Gavin was ordered to show proof of his grades and take part in community service. It was also ordered that the charges would be expunged from his criminal record after he completed the process.
Gavin’s mother released the story of the event in a Facebook post in an effort to explain to other parents that their children may suffer from severe legal penalties if they are playing with toy guns. She also said that their family plans to leave Colorado due to the incident and stated, “We are so relieved that this is all over with on paper, but unfortunately Gavin will deal with the mental repercussions the rest of his life.”
If you or someone you love is suspected of a crime, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.