Florida sheriff deputies arrested a 9-year-old boy Monday, posting his mugshot on their website, which led to it being published on a Facebook page titled Mugshots Lee County, prompting accusations that they are breaking the law by posting a photo of a minor.
But because Christian Canete is being charged with a felony, there is no violation of the law.
However, it appears as if Lee County sheriff’s deputies could have used more common sense before arresting the boy, who is being charged with two counts of battery and two counts of aggravated assault stemming over a temper tantrum involving his family.
His 11-year-old sister said she only called deputies to scare her little brother, who struck his sister with a remote control, then grabbed a butcher knife from the kitchen before placing it back in the kitchen.
But deputies said because it is a domestic violence accusation, they had no choice but to arrest him, even if the responding parties did not want to file charges.
And even if the boy weighs only 85 pounds and stands at 4’3″.
According to the News-Press of Fort Myers:
The grandmother, 71, told deputies that her grandson became upset at her and his sister, 11, over personal issues and began striking her on the head with his hands and a television remote control. The report also said the grandmother told deputies that the boy tried to pull her to the ground.
The grandmother also said the boy then got a butcher knife from a kitchen drawer and began walking toward his sister and the grandmother.
The report said that the boy put the knife back after his sister called police. Both the sister and grandmother told deputies that they were in fear for their lives when the boy was pointing the knife at then and got to within four feet.
The sister told deputies she called them not to get her brother to get in trouble, but just to scare him. Because the action is considered domestic violence, deputies told the girl and it didn’t matter if the reporting party wanted to press charges.
Deputies questioned the boy and determined he knew what he had done and that it was wrong. The report indicated the boy appeared remorseful.
The boy’s father told the newspaper that his son was experiencing “personal turmoil” and was scheduled for counseling.
And we imagine he especially needs it now after his arrest.
The boy’s mother, Barbara Underwood Canete, was obviously upset at seeing her son’s mugshot on Facebook and posted the following comment on the Mugshots Lee County Facebook page, whose sole purpose is to repost mugshots posted on the sheriff’s website.
But Florida law makes it very clear that records pertaining to juveniles charged with felonies are subject to public records law.