Honolulu police are investigating a troubling case. A nine-year-old boy is accused of trying to rob a store with a knife all while he was walking to school.
The crime scene was at the Chevron station on Middle Street in Kalihi which is right around the corner from the elementary school where the child is a student.
Kids get cravings for food but a nine year old boy is accused of taking it too far. Sources say Wednesday morning he walked into the mini mart at the Chevron carrying a steak knife. He threatened the clerk and went to the freezer looking for Dibbs ice cream, but it was empty. He did not go to the other freezer or demand cash. Instead ran out of the store.
The clerk actually thought he was younger than nine because he was such a little guy. Surveillance video caught the whole thing on camera. The boy was identified and arrested a few hours later at Fern Elementary School.
"It's frightening that a child that young would act that way in such an adult manner and such a criminal manner," said Victor Bakke, Criminal Defense Attorney.
Authorities can't recall a kid so young doing something so bold. It is a class A felony, the highest type of robbery. However lawyers say he will be classified as a person in need of supervision.
"It's not quite like they do in a juvenile case, he's not going to be thrown into prison but they will put him in intensive services and try to find out what's going on," said Bakke. "The knife though and the weapon and going into a store is cause for concern."
Since the incident did not happen at school and he did not bring the knife on campus he won't be expelled. The school says it will counsel the boy and try to guide him in the right direction.
The case is concerning to the public.
"It's a sad case because you don't know where their influence is coming from, the upbringing or who they are around all the time. Maybe he's hungry and doesn't have anything to eat at night and it's kind of sad, really sad," said Faleiva Augafa, parent.
"As a society we shouldn't judge the kid. We should help him in a way to show him the right things to do," said April Fermin, Kalihi Resident. "He wanted some food but didn't have the money to get it. What he sees around him or what he sees in the media I think it seeped into his mind and I don't think he knew it was the right thing to do."
The boy was released pending investigation. Sources say authorities have spoken with the family. The main concern is working with the entire family because if he is doing this at nine they don't want anything worse when he is 19.
"If he continues down this path he's not going to make it to 18 before he ends up in prison," said Bakke.
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