Boy booked for opening Christmas present

Published: Dec. 6, 2006 at 2:43 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 11, 2006 at 5:04 PM EST
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(Columbia) December 6, 2006 - A 12-year-old boy has a lot of explaining to do after he opened his Christmas gift without permission. His family called police when they discovered what happened. Now, they're hoping the boy's arrest will set him straight.

"I hid it and told them I couldn't find it," says 12-year-old Brandon Jones. Jones thought he could get away with getting Christmas early.

By the time he got caught unwrapping the Nintendo Gameboy Advance, it was too late. Brandi Ervin, Brandon's mom, was fed up, "He said he didn't know where the game was. And I said well I'm going to call the police then."

When officers showed up, the boy fessed up, telling them he took his present from his great grandmother's house.

He was charged with petty larceny and his mom insisted police take him away. Brandon tells WIS' Angie Goff what happened, "They put handcuffs on me and they put me in the back of the police car and took me to the station."

It's where the sixth-grader sat for four hours, till his mom picked him up after church. "I was hoping he would be scared enough to say look I'm sorry, I won't do it again and actually it worked towards that."

Ervin says she had no choice. Her son is out of control. She says it started in kindergarten when he stole from his teacher's desk. By third grade suspensions and parent conferences were common. And recently the 6th grader was arrested and kicked out of school for trying to hit a police officer.

"I had Brandon when I was 15," Brandi tells WIS. The single mom says she needs help. Her son's trouble makes it tough to hold down a job and finish going to school for a degree.

She says her biggest challenge by far is keeping her son from becoming another statistic, "With his attitude, you know, they don't care about talking. You can say something back to them, they done shot you, and you gone, you know. I would hate that. I don't want to get that phone call."

Brandon has a hearing with the Department of Juvenile Justice next week. His mom hopes they'll place him in a discipline program.

Brandon says he wants to change, "I plan on changing my attitude and working on my behavior because I know that my mom wants the best for me and I'm trying to make it happen."

In months ahead, good work may get him out of trouble with the law, but this Christmas don't count on getting that Gameboy back. Brandi says, "She's going to give it to someone else."

Reported by Angie Goff

Updated 8:11pm by Chantelle Janelle