Boy, 11, arrested for playing with toy gun

Boy with toy gun 
By: Sarah Weiss 

A little boy was arrested in New York, for playing with a toy gun, according to police reports.

An East Village, 11-year-old boy, was handcuffed and arrested after walking into school in the Lower East Side, with a toy gun, a black plastic prop given to him by a theater company in an after school program.

Violeta Hernandez, 68, said her grandson, whose name was not released, was supposed to be a cowboy in a play at the New City Theater in the East Village. Instead, the he was suspended and sent to an alternative-learning facility in Harlem, for two weeks and is still traumatized by the ordeal, she told news reporters.

"This was an abuse," the grandmother told news reporters. "I want him to feel better. I do not want him to be afraid of the police. Now the boy is afraid when going to school." Hernandez said the gun was nothing more than a toy. But police and school officials say it was a BB gun.

"A BB gun is considered a dangerous weapon and is not allowed on school property by the Department of Education’s discipline code," Education Department spokeswoman Marge Feinberg, said. "When the air pistol was discovered, the school called the police." A police source said that the weapon was classified as a gun. "It looked like a real gun," said the source.

The sixth-grader was reinstated to the school at a hearing on Wednesday. The boy told news reporters that he had the gun in his backpack. When he fell asleep on the school bus in the morning, a bully rummaged his purse and found the prop.

The bully later demanded that he surrender the prop. The young actor refused, so the vengeful classmate told Principal Judith De Los Santos Pena and a security staff member at the school, who called police.

The police arrived shortly thereafter, handcuffed the boy and threw him in jail. A representative of the after school program wrote a letter to the school saying that the gun was a stage prop that was given to the young actor.