The youngest kid I arrested was 6 yrs old. Now, you don’t take a 6 yr old to juvenile hall or some detention center. They just go back to whoever they live with. This kid was playing in the street with a 5 yr old girl, the 6 yr old was a boy. At one point he grabbed the 5 yr old by the back of her head and slammed her forehead into the bumper of a car, twice. (this was a real bumper, metal not plastic) Did he think that move up on his own, or had he seen someone else do it? Learned behavior. The girl had a minor bump on her head. I took the 6 yr old to his mom and her boyfriend.
I get a radio call in the early 2000′s, while working southeast 2nd watch, of a fight between 3 juveniles. A 12 yr old boy had grabbed an 8 yr old boy by the throat and he was choking him, to get his pocket change. The 8 yr old’s 6 yr old brother came up and tried to stop the 12 yr old. The 12 yr old kicked him in the groin and he went down. Some neighbors finally broke up the fight. The 12 yr old was Cuban. He was black and spoke Spanish. He wasn’t a very big kid. The black kids didn’t like him, because he spoke Spanish, the Mexican kids didn’t like him because he was black. His father was in prison and his 16 yr old sister was on probation for theft. Mom was a welfare mom. She moved the kids from one apartment to another. She would pay one month rent and then stop paying and wait to get evicted and then do it again. I took the 12 yr old to juvenile hall for a couple felonies. I did some computer work on him and found out he had 3 prior felony arrests, to include robbery and felony assault. Its rare that you can look at someone and tell their future. He would either spend the rest of his life in jail, or get killed on the street. He never had a chance.