A 10-year-old boy has been charged with inducing panic after telling police that he brought a BB gun to school to intimidate students who bullied him because he wears ankle braces and is small for his age, authorities said Wednesday.
The boy, who was charged with the delinquency count Monday after police were called to an elementary school in the suburban Cincinnati village of Elmwood Place, also told police that some boys "stuffed him in a trash can" about a year ago, police Sgt. Kevin Vanover said. Vanover said that incident apparently was not reported to police.
The principal of Elmwood Place Elementary School called police Monday afternoon around the time school was being dismissed to report that at least five children saw the boy with the gun, and some of them thought it was a firearm. One child said the boy had told him that if he told anyone about the gun, he would shoot the child, according to the police report.
Vanover noted that the BB gun's orange plastic tip was broken off, making it more likely the BB gun could be mistaken for a firearm.
"It did look real," he said.
The boy, whose name was not released, remained in his mother's custody Wednesday while awaiting a Hamilton County Juvenile Court hearing on the charge, Vanover said. No date had been set for that hearing.
Vanover said the boy told them he had gotten the gun from his mother, who apparently did not know he had it. She said that the boy's uncle had broken the tip off.
The boy initially told police that he didn't have a gun, but then said he did have it in his backpack and showed it to a few students, according to the police report. He was then taken to his mother's home, where she handed the weapon over to police.
The principal and the superintendent of St. Bernard-Elmwood Place City Schools did not immediately return calls Wednesday, but the district released a statement saying that federal and state law prohibits school officials from discussing specifics.
District officials intend "to fully investigate the allegations made regarding all of the students involved" to determine any violations of school regulations, according to the statement.