On Monday, a 10-year-old and an 11-year-old were arrested after they allegedly robbed a 67-year-old woman on a Crown Heights street corner. The 10-year-old, whose name has been withheld, was in Family Court with his mom yesterday, and she rigorously defended him to the News: "My son is awesome. He’s a good kid," she said. "You paint him like he’s all bad. He’s not."
Others interviewed by the News weren't as complimentary about the boy, who is reportedly affiliated with the Stone Crips. Police say he apparently set fire to merchandise inside a Deals discount store in East Flatbush on Tuesday, a day after the alleged grandma mugging, as a gang initiation. "If the system really knew about him, they’d think he was a terrorist,” said neighbor Michael Palmer. "I’m scared to do the things he does, and I’m 40 years old"
The 10-year-old, who is accused of punching the grandmother in the face and stealing her purse, has been charged with assault, attempted robbery and arson. The boy's uncle said earlier this week that he wasn't guilty: "It's just what he's accused of. He's a misunderstood boy."
The boy's aunt also came to his defense: "He’s a good kid, he’s good in school, he’s just hanging out with the wrong people that’s doing the wrong things,” said Keisha Graham. "We don’t care what they say about him, we know what kind of kid he is...He didn’t do it. He told me another kid did it."
This is a slightly different picture than an employee at Deals, the store the boy allegedly torched, paints. He says the child's mother came in Wednesday after the incident and
"told the cops to 'lock him up.'"
The mother of a 13-year-old who also was involved with the fire blamed everything on the 10-year-old: "I try to keep him out of trouble, but his friend did something bad and he followed,” she said.