9-year old arrested over a pack of gum

Published 11:51 am Monday, January 12, 2015

Idaho prosecutor Barry McHugh aims to stamp out crime. He showed how far he’s willing to go when he issued an arrest warrant late last week for a 9-year-old boy.

According to KHQ-TV, the Kootenai County, Idaho youth is accused of stealing a pack of gum. Post Falls, Idaho Police Chief Scott Haug said it’s not uncommon for store owners to press charges for stealing, even for a pack of gum.

Haug says the child then missed court because relatives had no way of getting him to the courthouse, leading to the warrant being issued for the boy’s arrest. HeĀ told the station it’s the first time in his 30 years in law enforcement that he’s ever seen an arrest warrant for someone that young.

“Had we known that before the court date we would have provided something for the family,” said Haug to KHQ-TV. “I wish we would have had more information that way we could have provided some sort of assistance.”

McHugh told the station the warrant was issued because the boy twice failed to appear, along with his brother, 15. The minor is now in the county’s juvenile detention center as he waits to stand before a judge.