Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Trouble at 9!

Article from local paper:

TACOMA -- A court hearing is scheduled next month to determine whether a 9-year-old boy who ran away from home and talked his way onto two flights to Texas may be charged in a car theft and police chase.

Semaj Booker, whose determined effort to get to his grandfather in Dallas made national headlines earlier this month, appeared briefly Monday before Superior Court Judge John A. McCarthy, who ruled there was probable cause for a hearing in the car theft case.
The boy is accused of stealing a neighbor's car on Jan. 14 in Lakewood, a suburb south of the city, and leading police on a chase at speeds up to 80 mph on State Route 512 before the engine blew.
Unable to find a juvenile detention center to accept the boy because of his youth, police returned him to his mother, who reported him missing the next morning.

He was detained that night, Jan. 15, in San Antonio, where he managed to fly from Seattle with a plane change in Phoenix after giving Southwest Airlines agents a false name and claiming to be 12 years old.

The court case concerns charges of second-degree car theft and attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, both felonies, and driving without a valid driver's license.
Under state law, a child 8 to 11 years old is presumed to be incapable of committing a crime unless prosecutors prove he understood what he did and knew it was wrong. McCarthy scheduled a ''capacity hearing'' to answer those questions for Feb. 12.

The boy remained in the custody of his mother, Sakinah Booker, but the judge ordered that he remain under constant adult supervision, be kept home except for attending school and not drive any motor vehicles.

April Kettner, whose car was stolen, attended the hearing and said afterward that the vehicle remained inoperable and impounded.
''I would just like to see them held accountable for what he's done,'' Kettner said

So.. this is open for discussion..
Im mixed on this.. I think a few things need to happen here
First and for most, this child needs to understand that for every action there is an effect.
That when you do a crime, of any form regardless of the severity, there are consequences.
However, at the age of 9, does this child understand any of this?
I realize alot is dependant upon the childs understanding, meaning does he have the intelligance to understand right from wrong.
At the age of 9, one would hope that he has the basic fundementals to understand right from wrong, but what about his home life?
Is it stable?
Loving/caring enviroment?
Taught the basic priniples of life?
Do not steal! ( this is already proven to be null)
Do not lie (again.. proven to be null as the boy lied multiple times at the airport)
Treat others as you wish to be treated.
Be respectful of yourself and others, to both your person and to others belongings (do I need to say it?)
So forth and so on..

In another of news reports, the mother stated how proud she was of her son. Proud? Proud of the ingenuity her son showed.. ok... I can sort of grasp that..but not really.. how embarrassing as a mother to have a child who has no care for others around him.. to show to the world that your parenting skills are so lacking that your 9 yr old steals/lies & cheats.
What type of child will he grow up to be?
Or.. do you feel that this child is crying out for help?
After all... other reports state, all he wanted to do was get to his Grandfather who lives in Texas.

So.. open up for forum..
what are your thoughts on this matter?


The Dung Beetle said...

Lessons learned:

1. Beat your kids.

2. Make sure you talk to them... and not just a few lectures. I'm talking dialogue, not monologue. See where their head's are... listen to them process their own thoughts, only correcting where misconceptions can turn into delinquent situations (Make sure they know that Grand Theft Auto videogame does NOT reflect real-life... in fact... make sure they're not playing this game at all. Only adult should be allowed to play a game that involves stealing cars and running over pedestrians.)

3. Beat your kids some more.

Barney said...

~Mr. Beetle ~
I concur to 1 & 2.. oh and Grand Theft Auto too.. that game is evil in the hands of children..!!!

Ozfemme said...

I forgot what I was going to say as I'm laughtering out loud at BJ's comments.

Oh hang on - I don't really know enough about the situation but I can't help but think that nine year old boy must really want to be with his grandfather or living with his mother really sucks. He's nine?? No child would go to such lengths, surely, to leave a place where they felt safe/loved etc etc.

Like I said, I don't really know.

Oh and I NEVER beat my kids.

They run too fast.

Ozfemme said...

Oh and Grand Theft Auto?

It's a big contributor to why I don't ever have sex any more.

And that was because it was in the hands of an adult.

Well, he said he was an adult but I'm not so sure....

- Stacey - said...

Why was he trying to get to his Grandfather? Wouldn't that play a factor in why he made his choices?

If he was trying to escape a horrible situation than I'm sure his only thought was safety and not of right and wrong. He wouldn't have the capacity to differentiate between right and wrong if he was making choices based in fear.

If he was sitting at home, bored and decided he wanted to be a badass then it's up to the prosecutor to prove it, not me. The Mom being proud? Man... she needs a kick to the head.

And I agree with the Dung Beetle up there... beat your kids.

Weekends Off said...

My opinion is probably not the most popular but I think they need to come down hard on this kid while he is still a juvenile. He may only be 9 but he's already commiting felonies and doing so in a way that is pretty damn clever. I think he needs to learn a hard lesson now, before he can be tried as an adult and face real prison time.

Had I been that kid I would have had my butt tore up from the floor up the entire ride home from the police station.

And the mother should be ashamed, of herself and of her kid...not proud. A nine year old committing multiple felonies is nothing to be proud of.

I think they need to find out what and why he wanted to get to Grandpa so badly though.

Barney said...

Why was he trying to get to his grandfathers????
He hates Washington?
oh..hell.. buck up and cope kid..
you cant do anything about it until your 18..
unless your living in an unhealthy enviroment..then tell a teacher or church member..or something..

but..other than that..
who said beating your kids was illegal?
This kid needs a good dose of reality..
I agree...
discipline in the home is the first step..

sheesh.. I got willow switches, belt buckles, hair brushes, spatulas, anything hard..
and I turned out ok..

***twitch twitch***

April said...

My first instinct tell me he is crying out for help.......to want to leave so badly, perhaps to get to someone who can help you?
Or perhaps he is just one bad-ass nine year old boy. :-)