In a mind-boggling Maryland case, a nine year old special needs Pasadena boy is being criminally prosecuted for malicious destruction of property to a neighbor's fence after being coerced by an 11 year old with an established record to help spray paint graffiti on it this past summer. The boy, who suffers from exotropia and autism, was often allowed to play in the neighbor's yard and was playing there with neighborhood boys when the neighbors left the home to go on vacation, waving to them as they left.
At some point while they were away, the 11 year old furnished the cans of spray paint and began disfiguring the fence with the nine year old present. A vast amount of the graffiti were in words and characters beyond the means of the special needs child who works at about a second grade comprehension level. Two other neighborhood boys brought the empty cans of spray paint to the mother of the nine year old who then examined the property and immediately notified the neighbors of the graffiti upon their return.
Mothers of both boys offered to clean the fence, but the offer was denied by the home owners who sought the aid of their insurance company. Repairs of the fence came in at $3500 with a $500 deductible and the parents of the children were willing to split the cost of the deductible since the that is all the neighbors would have to pay their insurance company. However, the neighbors demanded the full $3500 be paid to them by the parents within three days of providing the repair estimate or criminal charges against the boys would be filed. In another surprising move, instead of repairing the fence the neighbors replaced the entire structure and now the insurance company is seeking $2500 in restitution from the nine year old special needs child.
The Maryland State's Attorney is fully prepared to prosecute this month and make a criminal out of the nine year old. It's a pathetic state of affairs in Maryland when therapists can sexually exploit their clients and get away with it but we have to throw the book at special needs children for an absurd fence dispute.