SPRING HILL, Fla. (WFLA) — Two brothers, ages nine and 10, are facing felony charges for threatening deputies in Hernando County.
Deputies were called to the Dollar Tree on Wendy Court off Highway 19 in Spring Hill Saturday. The two boys said they ran away from home because they were punished by their mother for not cleaning their room.
“Some of the things they were saying, you usually don’t hear come out of the mouths of people who are twice their age,” said Sheriff Al Nienhuis.
The boys then got angry when deputies would not place them in foster care.
“Without any evidence that they were being abused, that’s just not acceptable,” Nienhuis said.
The 10-year-old boy told the deputies he would harm them if he was returned to his mom, and made comments about kicking and punching deputies. Deputies said the boy told them he wasn’t afraid to fight them because he had “jumped cops” in the past.
According to the arrest report, the nine-year-old then took a box cutter from a nearby table, opened it and pointed it at deputies, then laughed when they told him to put it down.
The 10-year-old tried running away from the store, but was stopped by a deputy. At that point, he started throwing his arms and shoulders in what deputies called a “frantic fashion.”
Both boys were eventually put in handcuffs. Both said they would run away and “cause problems” for their mother if they were returned to her.
“The bottom line is these young people again act like adults, they make threats like adults, and we’re going to arrest them just like adults,” Nienhuis said.
The brothers were taken to Hernando County Jail. The Department of Juvenile Justice allowed them to be released to their parents. The nine-year-old was placed on home detention.
Nienhuis said he was disappointed that the boys were allowed back home so soon.
“When a nine-year-old picks up a razor knife in the face of a law enforcement officer, imagine what he’d do with somebody who doesn’t have that authority,” Nienhuis said.
He added, “It’s obviously my prayer that they grow up and be productive young men.”