WEST OLIVE, Mich. (WOOD) - An 11-year-old boy shuffled into a courtroom on Thursday bound with ankle chains and handcuffs, accused of trying to abduct a 6-year-old.
A judge authorized charges of attempted unlawful imprisonment and misdemeanor assault against the boy and ordered a psychological evaluation.
The boy's parents were in court next to their son. He was in tears as he left the courtroom after being ordered to stay in an detention center.
"I've been a mom saying there's something wrong with my son," his mother Kathleen told 24 Hour News 8 after the hearing.
The boy's parents say they've been trying to get him help for years.
"You probably just think he's this horrible child, and he's not," Kathleen said. "There's just something that's preventing him from being the [boy] that he can be."
The older boy took the 6-year-old boy -- his friend -- from the victim's front yard in Jenison on March 13, police said. The victim's stepmother pursued the two boys and said she found the older boy dragging the 6-year-old across busy Chicago Drive. She was able to get her son away from the suspect and called police.
It's still not clear why the 11-year-old would want to abduct the 6-year-old.
"It certainly is an unusual event to have a young boy of [this boy's] age, 11 years old, being somebody who's dragging some other kid off to keep him away from his mother," Family Court Judge Mark Feyen said during the proceedings.
Prosecutors called the boy a potential danger to society.
"I knew one day this would be an outcome for him," said Kathleen. "No mother ever wants to get that call, or see her son like that, but at least I know it's not for a lack of our trying. It's the mental health system that failed [my son] not us."
Police say they've had contact with the boy before, but he did not previously have a criminal record.
The boy's parents say he's been in and out of mental health programs, has been diagnosed with behavioral problems and is a threat to his own siblings.
Court records show that the boy was 5 years old when the state took him and his siblings from their mom and stepfather after a drug raid at their home. Caseworkers said the children were living in "deplorable" conditions.
The mom got them back a short time later after making changes in her life. The boy moved back in with his dad more than a year ago.
The boy's father called the abduction charge overkill and said he believes his son just wanted to play with his friend.
But the parents both say this incident may be the catalyst they need to get their son some help. Kathleen said she's afraid of what could happen if her son doesn't get help.
"That one day this will be a prison instead of a juvenile detention center," she said.
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