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Eleven-year old arrested, cuffed for threatening stick-figure drawing: Police stand by actions

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stick figure drawing.JPG
Video below.
Denverites take school-related threats seriously, since we know warning signs associated with the Columbine killers were overlooked until it was too late. But even taking that into consideration, wasn't it excessive for officers to arrest, handcuff and charge an eleven-year old for a stick-figure drawing featuring the words "Teachers, they must die"? Police say "no."

The story, first shared by Fox31, involves a boy referred to as "Tim," who's being treated for attention deficit disorder. His therapist reportedly told him to draw pictures when he became angry, and he did just that at school in October. His sketch featured four stick figures, one gun and the previously mentioned four words.

Before Tim could discard this sketch, his teacher spotted it and shipped him to the principal's office. He was subsequently sent back to class, but that evening, Arvada Police officers showed up at the family's home. They arrested and handcuffed Tim, then took him to the police station in a patrol vehicle -- his mom offered to drive but was refused -- where he was fingerprinted and put in a cell for a short time.

In the end, Tim was charged with a third-degree juvenile misdemeanor: interfering with staff and students at an educational facility. He's currently on probation, and if he stays on the right side of the law, the offense will be stricken from his record. But that's little comfort to his parents, who say they've spent thousands of dollars to deal with the matter.

The police department's response? Here's what spokeswoman Susan Medina told Westword.

"I can't release a lot of the details about the case itself, just because of the nature of the incident, which involves a juvenile," Medina says. "But in looking at this situation, we feel the officer who responded, as well as his supervisor, who was at the scene, acted appropriately -- within our protocol."

Following the arrest, and a call to the department from Tim's mother, Medina goes on, "we conducted a thorough internal investigation of the actions of the officers. And we determined that they performed the arrest in the manner of our policies and procedures."

Look below to see Fox31's latest report on the case.

 

More from our News archive: "Jacob Christenson, age 11, facing arson trial in Parker over fire that 'just happened.'"


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28 comments
BrainPolice
BrainPolice

No wonder people home-school.

With this type of hysterical reaction to directed art therapy, from a therapist, who would want to send their children to this school or live anywhere near police like this?

If you tell ANY child to sketch their violent thoughts, which is a common and constructive practice -- to help identify and to help assess real intentions to ACT on negative or violent thoughts -- then they are going to sketch violent stuff. And it doesn't matter whether it's the student most apt or the student least apt to commit a violent act. Kids will sketch some sketchy stuff. So will adults, if asked to sketch violent thoughts.

But there's a BIG difference between sketching violent scenarios (just look at all the art and photo journalism depicting the violence of war) and acting out these scenarios, thank God. And most sensible and rational law enforcement realize this.

This is just plain scary. Explore the child's thoughts. Don't arrest him for thinking them and sketching them, especially considering his therapist encouraged him to do this ...With this sort of precedence, all sorts of kids could be sent home and deprived of an education for simply opening up to an adult. .

Mad_Keith_Beyond_Geezerdome
Mad_Keith_Beyond_Geezerdome

What kind of people are we when we tolerate this kind of carp? If you can charge an 11-year-old with "third-degree juvenile misdemeanor interfering with staff and students at an educational facility", you can certainly charge Arvada Police spokesperson Susan Medina with throwing bull excrement at the public and telling outright LIES.

After the end of World War II we hanged people for "just following orders." Today, schools and law enforcement agencies scribble a note or two and say they're "just following procedures" and "acting in the best interest of the child."

The difference? You tell me. I can see little if any.

Green-Man
Green-Man

It doesn't hurt to nip trouble in the bud.

kcmo_710
kcmo_710

I just made a stick drawing of an Arvada stick cop blowing his stick brains out with a stick Glock after he realized he was an all-time stick jerk. "Bang... Thud"

Robert
Robert

Teachers must die; that is simply a statement of fact. "Tim was charged with ... interfering with staff and students at an educational facility. He's currently on probation" -- apparently trials as well as the presumption of innocence have gone by the wayside. There is no excuse for the actions of the Arvada police and whatever functionary imposed sentence. I feel more far threatened by the presence of fascists in the ranks of our police and judiciary than any other criminals.

Countyjim
Countyjim

Does anyone remember the Tim Masters case in Fort Collins that is still be resolved right now? Yeah, it sent an innocent man to jail for 10 years on a murder charge for drawings (not evidence mind you) he made when he was 15. So far it's cost a man basically 20 years of his life and Larimer County over $10 M in a lawsuit. Let's just do that again.

Guest
Guest

WHO CALLED THE POLICE? This information is missing from the story.

jeri
jeri

so what next? if he picks his nose and then touches someone will he be in danger of being arrested for biological terrorism?

Annie Mcgee
Annie Mcgee

Movies are mostly make-believe,kids drawing pics and saying "teachers must die" is a bit more serious don't you think?

Trouble
Trouble

Sorry, this is a gun oriented society. Guns are freely available, are glorified and used in 99% of all homicides in this city. So the kid drew some stick figures shooting other stick figures - sheesh - go and arrest all the peeps running around Denver armed with real guns.

Steve
Steve

So, tell me, this is really in the country who thinks of it as the leaders of the free world, (unelected, I might add) Hmmm!!!

Steve WalshPyjama Press

Stashi.
Stashi.

Because the best way to help troubled children is to provide them with a criminal record...

Pete
Pete

The first place to look for budget cuts in Arvada appears to be the police force. Clearly too many resources if this is an event worthy of their action. What a joke.

Porterism
Porterism

11 year old kid draws picture of a stick figure shooting stick figures: arrested and booked.

35 year old Hollywood director makes movie showing hundreds of people getting shot and killed: award.

Chris
Chris

Ugh... This is so gross. I think it is really great that teachers, principals AND parents are no longer enough to deal with an 11 year-old. This is a real breakthrough in child rearing. Arrests are the best way to teach kids consequences. So stupid.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Very interesting post, BrainPolice. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Congrats, and thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

Green-Man
Green-Man

It's apparent that after the school principal made a decision that this was acceptable behavior knowing the child's intimate behavior treatment.how the "hell" did the authorities take this and run with it like they did?There is something behind the scenes that went on maybe someone got paid $$$like tabloids do to get stories ahead of others. Lets find out precisely how this evolved.Too much uncalled for hysteria is bred into society by the homeland security from 911.I do believe that a once of prevention is worth a pound of cure.However unexperienced hysterics molded with a paranoid or profit making agenda cause trouble in society. Apparently the reaction-ism of the police was unnecessarily exacerbated by some other improper action that i haven't been able to ascertain. the fact that the police isolated the boy and prevented his parents to be with him is a violation of the boys rights. That is inexcusable. "ONCE OF PREVENTION" IS ONE THING BUT THIS HAS GONE WAY BEYOND REASON.

Wiccandreams169
Wiccandreams169

Jail at 11? That is way over the top. Kids this age would be scared to death by a simple visit from the cops. Cuffing him and hauling him away from home would be terriffying. Eleven year old kids don't understand how the justice system works and they shouldn't need to.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Guest, schools are required to report threats -- even ones that may be deemed minor. Thanks for posting.

Toosmart4theirowngood
Toosmart4theirowngood

Annie Mcgee, for real? A stick figure drawing isn't make believe? I am so confused. I am going to draw some pictures now to deal with my frustration. Hopefully nobody calls the police.

Eric
Eric

Of course, you still expect immediate response to any call, at any time, under any circumstances, for any reason, no matter the urgency, without regard to how under staffed, under resourced, or ill equipped the Police and Fire personnel might be, due to that teabag devotion to no taxation.

Typical conservative republican teabagger goal.............Somethin'' for nothin'.

Used to be called moochin'. Now it's "fiscal conservatism".

To find your utopia, move to Colorado Springs. You'll fit in perfectly.

marko
marko

Really? you compared an adult to a troubled child? It's a cry for help...AND potentially a cry for help for any kids that this boy kills in the future. If you can't deal with him...ARREST HIM!

Vlssk8
Vlssk8

I have never heard of this case and no I don't live in a cave (I'm in California) and have been reading online about it for the past hour! I cannot find the proper words to describe my feelings about the abuse of power by those who are expected to look out for our safety and assure justice is met. What a read, for what a read! Thanks Countyjim:-)

Pete
Pete

Eric, I do expect an immediate response...that's why I own a gun. LOL

If the Arvada police department is seriously going to defend arresting and handcuffing 11 year old boys for stick figure drawings, then I strongly believe they are overstaffed. Instead of an ad hominem attack, why not respond to the point of the article? Do you defend the decision to arrest this boy?

Luke
Luke

I don't understand why you jumped to calling him a teabagger because he said something about budget cuts.

Every state is looking at budget cuts, and it's not due to the actions of tea baggers.

Toosmart4theirowngood
Toosmart4theirowngood

Marko, you are a degenerate and a loser. An 11 year old drawing pictures as part of treatment is a normal and healthy part of the growth process. All children, particularly those diagnosed with ADD have anger and frustration, especially in the classroom where they can feel left out, ignored, or pushed into a corner as the teach attempts to deal with a classroom full of children. This child was using a technique his therapist had taught him to direct his frustration into a drawing rather than disrupt the classroom. At 11 years old most children do not have the cognitive development to fully understand the ludicrous politically correct world we live in or the ability to comprehend the consequences of a picture, not of their actions, of a picture. The fact that the teacher responded in such an overly fearful way is a perfect example of how our society has been, to use a term I believe George Carlin coined, pussified.

Only in America do we get someones criminal record started at age 11. The police should be ashamed for responding to this call and the school should be chastised for its over reaction. Again, this wasn't a 15 or 16 year old goth student(sorry to call you Goths out, but you are REALLY creepy), this is an 11 year old child.

Shame on you Arvada PD. Couldn't you have just given him a stern talking to in order to scare him straight?

Jacky
Jacky

Excellent troll. A+++++++++ Will buy again.

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