Evidence of gun use by boy in yo-yo theft ruled insufficient


A Baltimore juvenile court master has determined that there is insufficient evidence to prove that a 10-year-old East Baltimore boy used a handgun last month when he stole a yo-yo from another child.

The arrest of the youngster, who earlier had been charged with using a gun to rob another boy of a propeller beanie, shocked the community and became a minor issue during the recent mayoral primary.

But in the youth's juvenile court hearing Monday, Juvenile Court Master Bright K. Walker determined that there was insufficient evidence to prove that the boy had used a gun to steal the yo-yo, said deputy city state's attorney Patricia K. Jessamy.

The juvenile master did, however, find that the youth was responsible for the theft of the yo-yo on Aug. 15.

The police did not recover a gun in the yo-yo theft, which occurred in the 1400 block of Holbrook Street in the East Baltimore community of Oliver. The youth was charged as a juvenile with armed assault because the boy he robbed -- an 8-year-old -- told the police his yo-yo had been taken at gunpoint.

At the time of his arrest, the youngster was on probation for a similar offense in which he robbed a 9-year-old of a beanie while holding a .22-caliber revolver. In the May 17 beanie theft, police did recover a gun.

The boy remains in a state juvenile detention facility and will be sentenced in the yo-yo theft Oct. 22.

Jacqueline Lampell, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Juvenile Services, said the department will be conducting "a further investigation and making psychological services available to the youth."

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