POST FALLS, Idaho (AP) — In a story Jan. 13 about a 9-year-old boy arrested for allegedly stealing bubblegum in northern Idaho, The Associated Press misidentified the judge who signed the arrest warrant. Kootenai County Magistrate Judge Scott Wayman signed the arrest warrant, not First District Administrative Judge Lansing Haynes.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Idaho prosecutor: Arrest warrant for 9-year-old a mistake
Idaho prosecutor says arrest warrant for 9-year-old boy accused of stealing gum was a mistake
POST FALLS, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho prosecutor said he made a mistake when he requested an arrest warrant for a 9-year-old boy who was taken into custody and released the next day after being accused of stealing a pack of gum from a grocery store.
Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh said Monday that his office should instead have sought a child protection investigation that would have led to a more informed decision.
"I have concluded that my office's request to have an arrest warrant issued was a mistake under the circumstances," McHugh said in a statement filed after a weekend in which the boy's arrest gained widespread attention. "I regret this having taken place and will do everything in my power to avoid this type of mistake in the future."
Kootenai County Magistrate Judge Scott Wayman authorized the warrant requested by McHugh's office after the boy twice failed to show up in court.
Post Falls Police Chief Scott Haug said the child missed court because relatives had no way of getting him to the courthouse. The child was taken into custody on Jan. 6.
"He was not treated like an adult, and simply given a ride to the Juvenile Detention Center," Haug told the Coeur d'Alene Press (http://bit.ly/1AbFcEC). "No officer wants to do this. It's unfortunate that it got to this point."
The boy was held at a juvenile detention center and released the next day, McHugh told The Associated Press on Tuesday. McHugh said the case against the boy is pending.
McHugh said efforts had been made to enroll the boy and his parents in a diversion program, but they missed court dates.
"Had we known (the missed court dates) was a transportation issue, we could have gotten the child a ride to court," Haug said.