Busted: 7-year-old cuffed, fingerprinted
Mar 15, 2007
BALTIMORE - Gerard Mungo Jr. starts to cry when he tells the story of his arrest by the Baltimore City police. Since he was handcuffed, photographed for a mug shot and fingerprinted Tuesday afternoon — all for allegedly sitting on a dirt bike on a sidewalk — Gerard said he is afraid to talk about it.
“They scared me,” he said, before breaking down in tears.
Gerard, who just turned 7 in February, was pulled off the dirt bike he sat on — with the motor off — by police while waiting for his father to pick him up in East Baltimore, according to his mother, Likisa Dinkins. Dinkins said she was incensed after the police pulled Gerard up by his collar and dragged him off the bike.
Seven-year old Gerard Mungo Jr. sits back on his living room couch after telling the story of his arrest by the Baltimore City Police Department.
"I told them to let go of my baby,” she said. “Since when do you pull a 7-year-old child by his neck and drag him?
“It broke my heart the way they were treating him.”
Dinkins said she called for a police supervisor to intervene, but after he arrived, Dinkins said, he started scolding her son.
“The started yelling at him, ‘Do you know what you did wrong, son?’” she said. “He was so scared he ran upstairs.”
After police confiscated the dirt bike, Dinkins said, the police said her son was under arrest.
“They put his hands behind his back and put him in black metal handcuffs. They handcuffed a 7-year-old child,” she said. “I cannot believe they did this to a child.”
Gerard was brought to the Eastern District station house, where he was cuffed to a bench, then interrogated, he told The Examiner.
“They asked about my mother,” he said.
Charging documents state that Gerard was charged with riding a dirt bike on city streets. He was released into the custody of his parents after being fingerprinted and photographed.
Mayor Sheila Dixon said she was concerned about the arrest.
“I am very concerned about what I am hearing. As a mother and as a parent, I am bothered by it,” she said. “I will get to the bottom of this.”
Police officials said they did not have enough information on the arrest to comment before press time.
Dinkins’ only concern is for her son’s well-being.
“This has changed his life,” she said. “He’ll never be the same.”
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