Pontiac boy, 8, not charged after alleged threat

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

The 8-year-old boy allegedly found with a threatening note Tuesday at a Pontiac elementary school will not face criminal charges, the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office said Thursday. 

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Paul Walton, chief assistant prosecutor with the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office, said the boy will be referred for youth assistance instead. What assistance is necessary will be determined as officials get to know the child better.

"We have three tools in our toolbox: criminal prosecution, a referral, or the adult court system," Walton said. "Statutorily, it would be difficult in Michigan to charge children with crimes; children under the age of 10 are assumed not competent" to face charges, he said.

"It will be referred to make sure the family gets some type of services; if there's a mental health issue, that can be addressed as well," Walton said.

On Tuesday, the boy's teacher at International Technology Academy found a note in which the boy allegedly threatened to kill a classmate and the teacher. The boy was angered, police say, that another student had told the teacher he had a cellphone, and was angered at the teacher for taking it.

The teacher referred the matter to the school's principal, who referred it to school security, which contacted the sheriff's office, which has school liaison officers at the district.

After police interviewed the boy in the presence of his mother, they took him into custody, but Oakland County's juvenile facility, Children's Village, declined to take custody of the child due to his age.