Boy, 8, Charged with Felonies; ‘Who Does That?’ Step-Dad Asks

A boy who ran away from his special-needs school allegedly cursed at and assaulted a police officer, then broke a camera in the back seat of a police car as he was transported back to school.

An 8-year-old faces two felony charges after he ran away from his Michigan school. (Patch file photo)
An 8-year-old faces two felony charges after he ran away from his Michigan school. (Patch file photo)

An 8-year-old Michigan boy has been charged with two felonies after he ran away from his school – charges the chief of the police jurisdiction he reportedly ran afoul of vehemently disputes.

The child was charged with malicious destruction of police property and resisting and obstructing after Allegan police officers were called to help corral the boy after he ran away from his school March 19.

Allegan Police Chief Rick Hoyer told MLive/The Kalamazoo Gazette he thinks the Allegan County Prosecutor’s Office overcharged the youth, who reportedly broke a police camera mounted in the back seat of a police cruiser after officers captured him.

“We have a very good prosecutor’s office and there’s not many times I disagree with them, but his is one of those times,” Hoyer told the newspaper Wednesday. “I don’t support these charges. … We’re talking about an 8-year-old with challenges.”

The boy’s family agrees.

“I don’t think he did anything wrong in this case,” the boy's stepfather, Robert Bluhm, told WXMI, FOX-17, explaining the special needs student at Hillside Learning and Behavior Center in Allegan has “anger issues.”

After he ran away from the school last month, school officials chased him, eventually catching up with him at a party store a block off M40 in Allegan. Police were asked to help apprehend the boy and transport him back to school in a police vehicle.

When asked his name, he reportedly cursed at and assaulted an officer. Once inside the vehicle, the boy allegedly broke the camera mounted inside.

Why Didn't School Officials Accompany Boy?

Bluhm claimed to the television station that police know his stepson has run away from the school and are aware of behavioral problems, but left him alone n the back seat of the police cruiser anyway.

“If they had him under control, why didn’t they ride with him in the back of this cop car so this incident would have never took place?” Bluhm said.

He said that when he asked school officials why no one accompanied a minor child back to the school “instead of just throwing him in the back of a cop car … they couldn’t answer that question.”

School officials told FOX 17 they were confident the situation was handled properly, but declined to comment a situation that involved a specific student.

Chief: Police Just Want $50 Restitution

Hoyer said the police department’s only goal is to recoup the $50 for the damaged camera.

Allegan County prosecuting attorney Frederick Anderson said the charges stand and a decision will be made about pursuing them in court after the child goes through counseling.

Bluhm told the Kalamazoo newspaper that counseling “may be a good thing” because “obviously, the kid needs help.”

But he said he’s upset about the felony charges.

“That floored me,” he said. “Who does that?”

Tell Us: Do you agree with the felony charges in this case?

Racer Boy April 27, 2014 at 05:00 PM
Special needs? You bet...he clearly has needed some special discipline for a very long time. At 8 years old he has a working cursing vocabulary and a father who proclaims his son did NOTHING wrong...that pretty much tells me all I need to know.
Rodger Higgins April 29, 2014 at 11:56 PM
Lock him up until he is 40, then let him out so he can earn some retirement money. The little puke is trouble and doesn't deserve to be around normal descent people.
William Bednarz May 08, 2014 at 02:21 PM
8....18....or 80 you do not have the right to run amok....society has rules and regulations everyone has to follow.....making excuses for him/her makes no sense other then to encourage him/her into further bad behavior
Ellen H May 08, 2014 at 02:50 PM
The parents just want to excuse his behavior so they can not be blamed and held responsible. Whip his butt and make them pay the damages. Those posting "O the poor kid" are going to feel different when it is one of your family members he kills in the future.
Angela Farley May 08, 2014 at 04:16 PM
His step-dad needs to be aware that he did indeed do something wrong and pay for the camera the boy broke until his son can earn the money to pay him back. And I hope the rest of you that sit in judgement never have to experience what dealing with a child (or adult) with special needs entails. Not every person with special needs was born that way so don't be so quick to judge. One day you may walk in the same shoes.


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