ALLEGAN COUNTY, Mich. (April 21, 2014) — Edward Hart, 8, faces two felony counts after an altercation with police and damage done inside a police vehicle, according to court documents.
“I don’t even think he did anything wrong in this case.” stepfather Robert Bluhm said. “He’s special need[s].”
Edward, ran away on March 19 from the Hillside Learning and Behavior Center in Allegan where Edward Hart attends school, Bluhm said.
An Allegan police report lays out what happened from the responding officer’s perspective. A teacher and the principal chased after the 8-year-old, and a third teacher caught up with Edward at a party store, a block away off of M-40, the report said.
“He’s ran away from the school before,” Bluhm said. “And he’s made it to M- 40 before. But he’s never made it as far as he did this time.”
Police were called to help, and, according to the their report, school staff requested the officer drive Edward back to the school. When he was asked his name, Edward is said to have cursed at and assaulted the officer.
“He has anger issues,” said Bluhm. “They know this. And they’re going to throw him in the back of a cop car all by himself.”
The officer reproted that Edward broke the police camera in the back of the car. As a result, Edwared is charged with malicious destruction of police property and
resisting and obstructing.
“If they had him under control, why didn’t they ride with him in the back of this cop car so this incident would have never took place?” wondered Bluhm. “When I called the school to ask questions – why nobody rode with the minor child to the school instead of just throwing him in the back of a cop car – they had no answers for me. They couldn’t answer that question.”
The school superintendent told FOX 17 he doesn’t comment on individual students, but he said he’s confident that all protocols were followed in this situation and that things were handled properly.
FOX 17 asked if parenting played a role in Edward’s behavior. Bluhm claimed that Edward was disciplined often. “He has a day in a timeout chair. He had one week with no TV, and he lost his [Nintendo] DS for life; we took it away because if we have to pay for this camera.” That’s all the Allegan City police chief said the department is asking for: a $50 payment to repair the broken camera.
Chief Rick Hoyer wouldn’t go on camera, but he told FOX 17 the goal is to recoup the money. He doesn’t agree with the prosecutor’s office decision to charge the 8-year-old criminally.
Prosecuting attorney Frederick Anderson said he couldn’t comment on the case, because it involves a minor. He said the charges stand. The student will need to undergo counseling, and then the court will determine whether those charges should be pursued.