Woman Says She Wanted To Scare Child Straight
LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. -- A startling scene outside a party store brought a Florida woman to tears.
The woman said she saw a sheriff's deputy arresting a 5-year-old boy as she was pumping gas at a nearby 7-Eleven. She snapped a photo and described it as an "out of control situation."
"That's not a way to treat a child, that's not a way to teach a lesson to a little boy," said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous.
The little boy's mother said she asked the deputy, a friend and 15-year veteran of the Lee County Sheriff's Office, to "arrest" her son as a way to scare him straight.
"I hope it scared him to figure out that he's not going to play with matches or lighters again," she said. "That was the whole point of it -- to make him afraid that he was going to go to jail."
Child psychiatrist Omar Rieche said the discipline was too much.
"No matter what the details are, when you see that picture, it says so much," he said. "The age in which this is being done is inappropriate, so it's misguided."
But the boy's mother said she'd do it again if she had to.
The Lee County Sheriff's Office said the deputy's actions were not protocol and will not happen again.