How old would you expect a couple of armed carjackers to be? Would you believe 7 and 11?
Amy Garrett didn’t expect to be robbed by armed children
A brazen carjacking attempt by two boys — ages 7 and 11 — in a Southeast Portland church parking lot, appeared to Amy Garrett, at first, to be a joke. She thought the kids were just “being tough guys.” She assumed their gun was fake.
Garrett said she was waiting in her pickup about noon Saturday for her parents outside Freedom Foursquare Church, browsing Facebook idly on her cellphone. Suddenly, from her passenger side came the profanity-laced prattling of the boys asking her what she was doing. They told her they had a gun.
“They were children,” Garrett said on Sunday. “I didn’t think they’d actually have a real gun.”
Across the street, a mother knew better. She was phoning police after her son ran home to tell her he’d seen the 11-year-old armed.
Meanwhile, Garrett said the two boys came around to the driver’s side of her pickup, showed her the silver handle of a .22 caliber handgun and continued to curse at her through the rolled-down window. They told her the piece was loaded, and the 7-year-old pulled a box of bullets from his backpack.
“My heart was racing,” Garrett said once she realized the firearm was real…
The 11-year-old grabbed Garrett by the arm. She rammed the truck into reverse and peeled out of the church parking lot just as the 11-year-old pulled the gun out and waved it in the air. Behind the boys, she saw police pull into the lot.
“I literally thought I was going to die,” said Garrett. “If the cops hadn’t come right then, I’m sure he would’ve fired it.”
As Portland police officers Greg Baldwin and Scott Robertson approached the boys, the 11-year-old hid the gun, shoving his hands in his pockets. Police said the 11-year-old told the younger boy to run, but officers had both boys stopped at the south side of the church.
They told the 11-year-old to keep his hands in sight. But when the boy ignored them, they grabbed his arms and recovered the gun — cocked and loaded…
Both children are now in their parents’ custody…
The children couldn’t be booked at a juvenile detention facility because of their age, Simpson said. Multnomah County’s Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Home detains youths 12-17, according to its website. In fact, Simpson said, unless the children’s home environments appear acutely unsafe to police officers, authorities are required to return children to their parents.
Something wrong with that law, I’d say. Poisonally I’d have the parents spend the night in the slammer in a cell next to their charming kiddies while a thorough discussion on law and order ensued.
We know that ain’t about to happen.