One Boy's Mother Says Police Have Wrong Child; Boys Charged As Juveniles

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police arrested a 10-year-old boy on attempted arson allegations Wednesday night, days after he was charged with mugging a woman in Brooklyn.

CBS2’s Meg Baker spoke to one of the suspect’s mothers, who said her son was not involved in the robbery on Monday in Crown Heights.

But police sources said the same boy was arrested on Wednesday evening, on allegations of attempted arson. He was accused of trying to set fire to a store in East Flatbush, Brooklyn and was being held at the 67th Precinct, sources said.

Police said the earlier mugging incident happened at the intersection of Empire Boulevard and Rogers Avenue in Crown Heights on Monday afternoon. The boys allegedly attacked the 67-year-old woman — all while a 4-year-old stood by to watch.

The boys have been charged as juveniles with assault and attempted robbery. Charges in the alleged attempted arson incident involving one of the boys were pending late Wednesday.

CBS2 spoke to the mother of one of the boys, identified as Artie Graham, as she and her children walked out of Family Court after speaking with a probation officer.

“I have two little ones. I have a 10-year-old that was supposed to be charged with robbery, and I don’t believe he did it, because that’s not his type of area,” said Ebony Blackman.

Police said the pair ran up, grabbing the woman’s purse and hitting her in the face. Blackman’s 4-year-old son was with the older brother at the time of the alleged incident.

“My 4-year-old was with them, and you know, they tell the business. So he told me — he said Artie didn’t do nothing; it was his other friend,” Blackman said.

Blackman said her son is innocent, and that it was other kids in the neighborhood.

“(My son) was hanging out with his friends, and I guess his friends wanted to rob the lady, and they mis-confused my son with another one, and they arrested both of them,” Blackman said. “And so now, they’ve got to go back to court and see what they’re going to do with the charges, because they’re too young.”

Now, community activist Tony Herbert is stepping in to counsel the families.

“The influences on street is really, really strong, and the unfortunate part about it is that, you know, we’re losing that battle of the streets, if, in fact, we all don’t step up,” Herbert said.

The victim was not seriously injured. She was able to hold onto her bag.

CBS2 contacted the mother of the other 10-year-old, but she did not want to speak on camera. Both families were due back in court on Wednesday.

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