By Mike Hellgren

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Handcuffed and arrested at school. It happened to four Baltimore elementary school children.

Mike Hellgren speaks to the outraged parents of one of the little girls as police defend their actions.

Hellgren: “What did you do when you saw your grandbaby after all of this?”
Michael Vogel: “I hugged her. I actually hugged her. This is strange. They’re little kids.”

Vogel broke down when talking about the arrest of his granddaughter– one of four children Baltimore City police put into handcuffs at Morrell Park Elementary School. Three 9-year-old girls and an 8-year-old little boy were arrested.

“They were in a holding cell with a 14- or 15-year-old boy, and everytime he had to urinate, they had to turn their heads,” Vogel said.

“There was a message on my answering machine. It was the principal of the school and said, ‘I’m sorry Ms. Hammonds about the way things went down yesterday. I wasn’t here. I was at another school conference. And the police did not go by regulations,'” Loretta Hammonds, the mother of one of the arrested students, said.

But police defended their policy and say the children were charged in connection with a violent fight outside the school that happened last week where one of the young victims was forced onto railroad tracks.

“It’s our policy, regardless of the age, when a suspect is arrested by police, they’re handcuffed. And the reason is just not for the suspect’s safety but also for officers’ safety,” Det. Jeremy Silbert of the Baltimore City Police Department said.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) says the arrests violate state regulations, calling them appalling.

“We’re living in a city where we’re routinely criminalizing young children,” Sonia Kumar, an attorney with the ACLU, said.

“I said, ‘My God, they’re children! They’re babies!’ I said, ‘Were they crying?’ She said, ‘The little boy was crying.’ I said, ‘Why didn’t you call me?’ She said, ‘We had orders from the police not to call the parents. They said they were going to call,'” Vogel said.

“To hear my child’s been arrested for 12 hours, it killed me,” Hammonds said.

The ACLU tells WJZ they believe the arrests should have happened at the children’s homes and not at school.

The children are charged as juveniles.

Comments (80)
  1. annonomous says:

    the girls were also placed in a cell with a male not related to the case and were told to put their noses in the corner while the boy used the bathroom in the cell also one of the girls were not even present when two of the major aledged crimes took place so she should not be involved the officer told her that it didnt matter who did what she was there when it happened

    1. Gillette377 says:

      Annonomous, you got your information from what source?

    2. Richard P. says:


    3. Nope says:

      Another fine example of Baltimore schooling. If poor spelling and punctuation were crimes then you’d be a felon.

    4. urnotfunny says:

      if they’re doing this at nine years old, can you imagine what the teenage years will bring?

  2. Concerend Mom says:

    These crimes were very extreme…and they only way to teach the kids is to treat them as criminals. What if one of the children they were beating had died??? What if that child was your child???? Lock them up AND their parents!!

    1. Larry26 says:

      I concur exactly.

  3. K says:

    Morrell Park is a trashy area… wonder!

    1. Taylor says:

      I don’t think you should be talking unless you live there. So get a life. If you think it’s so trashy, why are you reading about this anyway?

  4. steph says:

    i agree the police made a good decision on handcuffing and better that it was done at school so that not only will the children who did wrong learned a lesson their classmates will also understand the severity of what they did and for arguments sake lets just say they were retalliating they should have alerted a teacher or parent to help with the problem and if that ddnt work then maybe retaliation and yes i would feel the same way if it were oone of my children

  5. Donna says:

    Handcuffing young children can scar them for life! They can become afraid of police officers, and thats not a good thing to be. They should have been escorted out of the school and taken to the police station WITHOUT handcuffs. Whats the worst that could happen, they throw a temper tantrum??

    1. kaki says:

      would you rather have had them kill someone and then be gently walked off school property? no. they got what they deserved. if the kids act like this, imagine how the parents act towards the kids at home. out the parents in with the kids and throw away the keys. the worst they could do…hmmmm… let’s see, they could hurt another person, child, teacher with the drama and theatrics of acting out and having a “temper tantrum.” you’ve never evidently seen the harm a violent child can do to anyone. believe me…i know.

  6. happy1 says:

    They are old enough to violently atack another child but not old enough to be handcuffed? Handcuffing will scar them? What about the kid who’s was placed on the railroad tracks or the kid who head was held under water? You think that will scar them?

    1. Larry26 says:

      You are so very correct.

    2. jsari says:

      @happy1 Probably. But what about the fact that two wrongs don’t make a right? Children do stupid things ALL THE TIME, that’s part of being a child. Yes, they deserve to be disciplined for their actions so they learn their lesson, but that does not require emotionally traumatizing them. I’m sure that for most children, simply being taken into custody by the police is terrifying enough. Handcuffing them at school is above and beyond what was necessary.

      1. Shawdell says:

        JSARI, what about the scarring to the victims. Yes kids do stupid things, but there are consequences even for “stupid” things.

        Parents police your own kids so the real police won’t have to.

    3. Crystal Johnson says:

      Where do you see anything about a child’s head being put under water?

  7. Richard P. says:

    i am sure someoes gonna organize a march for this as well, minus the hoodie.

    1. jsari says:

      someone should. of course, since we know that the children were white, if no one organized a march for this as well you would probably call it reverse racism.

  8. LiberalSoldier says:

    The police did the right thing. Arresting then in school in front of their peer sends a message that criminal behavior will not be tolerated. Why do you think they send had to handle kids through the prison system programs to scare them straight? The only thing I would change would be the police handcuffing and arresting the parents for not controling those they are responsible for.

  9. jay says:

    Tough situation for everyone involved.

  10. Loki says:

    I’m glad I was never one of your kids. “For the safety of the officers”? Give me a break. Are you that much of a wimp you can’t handle an eight year old? What’s next? If a child steals a cookie, we give him/her the death penalty?

  11. feebe says:

    Maybe these kids and a few more area wide need a leason on how the law works.

    Scared straight.It was an old program.Plus There was an incedent of great potental harm. Some kids are WAY OUT of hand. The P.D. can’t tell the dif. it’s up to a judge. Not the HOOD

  12. ballsohardclub says:

    Bejesus, What the hell is happening to our black youth? The last twenty years have uncovered the lazy worthless slug baby mommas living on welfare with no morals & no idea or caring about raising their children. Yopu don’t see this in Jewish neighborhoods.

    1. jsari says:

      @balssohardclub Are you blind, or just plain stupid and/or racist? If you would just WATCH THE VIDEO you would see that at least two of the children arrested were, in fact, white. At least, one can assume as much from that fact that the grandfather and mother of two of the children interviewed were white. Are you prepared to say of whites that “the last twenty years have uncovered the lazy worthless slug baby mommas living on welfare with no morals & no idea or caring about raising their children”? Somehow, I doubt it. So, yeah, I guess you don’t see this kind of thing in Jewish neighborhoods, but you do see it in white ones. But more importantly, do you still feel the same way about how these children were treated now that you know some of them were white?

      Needless to say, you’re an idiot who should learn to think before you speak. Better yet, you should just learn to think.

    2. larryag says:

      you get dumber by the second

  13. Larry26 says:

    No one should have to weigh in on this one at all. Those children were wrong from the git go. Take them by the hand and walk them to the patrol car or arrest them at home. Get off of the bandwagon. What choice did they give the child whose head was put on the railroad tracts or the child that had their head held under water. The police were absolutely correct. This is not acceptable behavior. The parents screaming should be arrested to. They are responsible for what their child does until they reach adulthood. I despair everytime I see the ACLU getting involved in any part of our lives. They need to disbar any attorney affiliated with that organization.

  14. Mz B says:

    I totally agree with the police on this issue! They needed a good lesson. What if the child that was assulted was killed. People are outraged as if we have not all read on the news at some point or another and often that children this young are indeed killing others.

  15. chubrock says:

    Its thier parents fault for the way they are raising these kids. Charge the parents also. Maybe they will all learn a lesson then!!!

  16. Steve Wilson says:

    Since I once had a “child” of this age (I’ll not state the race) threaten to pull a knife on me, I’ll side with the police and handcuffs on this on.

  17. Crystal Johnson says:

    Actually yes the children are WHITE, in that area, oh my, now who sounds ridiculous, and anyone wonder what the full story is? I know one of the children and I know the “REAL” story. They don’t mention that this started because a boy had punched a little girl, the “alleged” victim might not be as innocent as everyone wants to believe. These children were taken out of school without notifying any of their parents, one parent went to pick her CHILD up at school and found out THAT way, how would you feel going to pick up your child and find out they were “gone”? Last time I checked a parent or attorney is supposed to be present before ANY MINOR is questioned by police. This fight happened a week ago, not in school, not on school property. If they are such a “threat” to the police and society in general then I would think that they would have been picked up IMMEDIATELY? This entire situation is horrifying to me, as a parent, and to see so many adults jump on the bandwagon when you really just do not know the story is just as upsetting.

    1. chubrock says:

      So your saying its ok that 4 kids beat up 1 kid, for what ever happen before. Your going on hear say. You weren’t there, and I wasn’t there so how do we know that the victim punched the 1 girl in the face. It doesn’t matter when or where it happened, police finally had enough to go on to make the arrest. I don’t care about how they were arrestted. They broke the law and should be treated like wise after the fact. There is no exceptions to who gets handcuffed, all criminals should be under restraint while being transported. And the ACLU only comes out of thier hole when it suits them, not when it is to help a person. So I don’t care about any fact leading up to this (if it really happened), all I care about is that the kids broke the law, and need to learn a lesson now before they grow up and become worse.

      1. Crystal Johnson says:

        You would be the one going by “HEARSAY” I know one of the children involved. I am going from the source, now that I’ve explained to you what hearsay is, read my comment again, I never once said that the children should not have been handcuffed. One of the children were ALMOST 4’tall and weighs close to 60lbs, I mean I’d be TERRIFIED! That issue is to beside the point. The part that angers me more than any other is the fact that these children were removed from their schools WITHOUT parental knowledge, police or not, if I came to pick up my child from ELEMENTARY school and was told, sorry they aren’t here, you better believe I’d be mad. The police had ample time to contact parents, they choose not to, I don’t care if they handcuffed them and sat them in the office, or a paddy wagon, they could have taken the 20 mins to contact these kids parents BEFORE taking them off of school property. The police did not give the children a chance to call their parents when they arrived at the police station either. I don’t know why some people are considered “innocent until proven guilty” but these SMALL CHILDREN are being hanged by all of you. I do hope that you aren’t raising children in these times we live in, with the attitudes most of you are expressing someone should call CPS on you. =)

    2. Taylor says:

      I go to Morrell Park (8th grade) and I totally agree with you

  18. dave says:

    City’s making a beig deal out of it cause they weren’t spooks. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut occasionally.

    1. Antoinette Shorter says:

      shame on you for using such derogatory terms…..have you no couth?

      1. aw poor puppy says:

        apparently this Dave person doesn’t get enough attention in the real world so he tries to be shocking…you know, poor guy doesn’t even have enough self esteem to capitalize his own name. tsk tsk… awww.

  19. happy1 says:

    Holding their head under water was in the original story. I don’t care what color they are.

  20. smdh says:

    So what did the girl do to get punched in the face… I think attempted murder is equal or lesser force for 1 strike… Pinning someone down(waterboarding)… I though this country arrested those who believe in organized crime. Oh wait they did… Good work cops, there’s hope for you yet. Technically these 4 kids should be held liable as DHS was for interrogating terrorist… I believe that is covered as a horrid act… Similar to terrorizing a boy for probably defending himself if this girl has minions like this…

    1. Crystal Johnson says:

      You call 3 little girls “minions”? Did you know that the child who these alleged crimes were committed against told the police that these “horrid acts” didn’t happen the way his mother “claimed” they did?? The saddest part of it all is that you probably REALLY believe what your saying, now I am SMH. If this same thing would have happened in a nicer area the comments would be going the other way, ppl would be APPALLED at the idea that the police were allowed to leave the school with children without contacting their parents. It truly sickens me to read some of these ignorant comments.

  21. dave says:

    White Black, who cares. That area of B-more sucks & is low class ignorant. Those people all watch late night tv when the ambulance chasers come on & advertise something for nothing. This is their chance just like their coon cuz’s to hit the lottery.

    1. Taylor says:

      Do you live in Baltimore? Because if you don’t, you don’t really know what it’s like. That right there is being stereotypical and if you don’t live in Baltimore, you’re just going off of what everyone else thinks. Morrell Park is just about the best neighborhood in Baltimore.

    2. Taylor says:

      Do you live in Baltimore? If you don’t then you really don’t know the story. That right there is being stereotypical and you’re just going by whatever everyone else THINKS. So before you start insulting someone you don’t even know, check your facts.

  22. lynn says:

    sickening ,just sickening ,these kids have been hung out to dry on some aleeged allegations of violence .needless to say the law is innocent until proven guilty ,if these kids were from bum duck egypt would it make a difference .their rights were violated and this show in the end ,and if the police handcuffed them because they feared them that is pitiful ,if they are scared of 10 yr olds ,my god help us ,they are here to protect and serve .kinda scary !!!

  23. big dave says:

    and the problem is??? if this was a group of whites how many of these posters would be screaming bloody murder?? we know it is because they are black, don’t arrest blacks because they have always gotten a bad deal right, I say if they did a crime do the time and all that comes with it, skin color should have no basis in the law whats good for one is good for all

    1. lynn says:

      the problem is Dave,you don t have the slightest ideal of what s going on here ,your trying to throw the race card here ,that s what is wrong with society today ,does nt matter if someone violates your rights ,only time it makes a difference is what color is your skin ,ask yourself what this world is coming to with the ignorance we endure every day from people like DAVE!!!!!

      1. big dave says:

        that right if it is a nig then I will say it beatch KKK forever

  24. urnotfunny says:

    I could care less what color they are, they’re hoodlums, they needed to be dealt with. Color has nothing to do with what they did.

    1. lynn says:

      and again !!!!they are accused of a crime ,they have nt even been to court yet .if i call you a pediphile does that mean you are one .please listen to yourself calling children hoodlums who haven t been foung guilty of anything have children who make accusations all the time and then get scared and recant their stories .give them the decency of a fair trial before you convict them .and people ask all the time what s wrong with our justice system ,people who think like you ,that s whats wrong with it

  25. Mike says:

    I don’t know what’s worse? The story or the comments? It seems most of the comenters are pro police state. So it’s OK for the police and the schools to ignore the law and eight year old girls are now seen as dangerous thugs. Have fun licking the hand that feeds once the police state has finally stripped you of the last of your liberty. You deserve it. You’ve already relinquished them your intelligence and common sense. Enjoy being a slave! I’m out!

  26. ecko says:

    they got what they deserved thats it

  27. ecko says:

    the cops where black the children where white this is racist

  28. Kat says:

    They deserved to be arrested, regardless of age. You act like a criminsl, get treated like a criminal.

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