Police academy cadets are pepper sprayed as part of a training exercise before graduation. Friday, Feb. 9, 2018.
Video by Scott Clause
Two young siblings with butcherÂ knives were pepper-sprayed by Des Moines police on the city’s north side Tuesday.
Sgt. Rod Santizo, with Des Moines police, said the brothers â€”Â one 8 years old and the other 9 years oldÂ â€” are OK after being sprayed in the Highland Park neighborhood.
Police were called just before noon Tuesday to the QuikTrip at the intersection of East Euclid Avenue and East 14th Street after someone saw the boys with two butcher knives.
“First officer on the scene saw them with the knives, and they ran from him (when) he got close,” Santizo said Tuesday evening. “They turned around, with one of them getting in (a) verbal confrontation with (the officer).”
Because the officer saw the weapon, he deployed the spray, Santizo said. One of the boys was taken into custody on the spot, while the other ran from the scene but was quickly apprehended.
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The children’s eyes were flushed with water at the scene and they were transported to Iowa Lutheran Hospital. Santizo said after the boys were caught, it was discovered that they’d stolen a couple of drinks from the gas station.
But police said they didn’t use the knives to take the itemsÂ â€”Â they told officials they were carrying the weapons to ward off any potential attackers.
“They decided they needed (the knives) for protection,” Santizo said. A stepparent retrieved the boys from the hospital.Â
Santizo said it’s unlikely the pair will be charged for having the knivesÂ â€”Â which were long enough to violate Iowa CodeÂ â€” because they weren’t used to commit a crime.
While the department has not come to a conclusion on how to treat the case, Santizo said, police will likely follow up with the kids’ parents about why the children thought they needed protection.
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