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Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Boy, 11, charged in scooter robbery with gun

Cincinnati Enquirer
Last Updated: 8:37 pm 

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Boy, 11, charged in scooter robbery

Jennifer Baker 

July 28, 2009

PRICE HILL – An 11-year-old boy has been charged with holding up two children and trying to steal their scooters with what turned out to be a plastic toy gun.

Cincinnati police arrested the boy, locked him up and accused him of trying to take the children’s silver push scooters Monday evening at Rapid Run Park in the 4400 block of Rapid Run Road.

The children were not injured, but the frightening experience is one the family will never forget, their father, Rich Harrison, said Tuesday.

“There are so many bad things anymore. Kids with real guns and fake guns,” he said. “You just never know what to do or who to trust anymore. I have been in a daze since yesterday, having it in my mind there could have been a chance my kids could have gotten shot over a scooter.”

The startling incident unfolded at the top of the hill in the park, where there are athletic fields, he said. His two sons, Kyle, 8, and Kevin, 10, and daughter Ryan, 11, all attend St. Williams School. The family was headed to his youngest son’s football practice for the school team.

The two older children were on their beloved scooters, Christmas gifts from an uncle. They wanted to ride around the pond and meet their father and Kyle on the other side.

But about halfway around the pond, a boy they did not know approached them.

“We’re going to play a game,” he told the children, according to a police report. “I’m going to take your scooter.”

What happened next was no game. He pointed what appeared to be a real gun at the children and tried to take the scooters.

The siblings tried to get away, scooting as fast as they could toward their father.

The boy, still holding the plastic toy gun, gave chase

“It was aggressive,” Rich Harrison said. “He came down with no fear whatsoever to try to take the scooters.”

The boy stopped and retreated when he saw the father, heading toward two friends waiting for him under a shelter.

Rich Harrison said he called 911 and when police arrived, they found the boy and two friends nearby. All seemed to have fake guns or BB guns, he said, but he wasn’t sure.

“The police didn’t tell me,” he said. “They looked like real guns. It scared all of us. There were several different ages of kids up on the hill at practice. All the parents were up there in fear for a little while.”

He is using the experience as a learning moment for his family.

“Let this just be a lesson when I tell you guys to stay by my side so I can keep an eye on you,” he said he told his children. “That’s why I do that. Times are different.”

The boy remains in the Hamilton County Juvenile Court Youth Center. Hamilton County Juvenile Magistrate David Kelly scheduled an Aug. 7 hearing to determine the boy’s competency, said Harvey Reed, the youth center’s administrator.

A public defender questioned the boy’s ability to understand the consequences of his behavior, Reed said.

Zoom Photo 

Ryan Harrison, 11, and her brother Kevin, 10, ride their scooters around the pond at Rapid Run Park. Not long ago, they were doing just that when a gun was pulled on them by a would-be thief.

(The Enquirer/Malinda Hartong)

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