Boy, 9, released after failing to appear in court for allegedly stealing pack of gum

A nine year-old boy in Idaho has been released after a warrant was issued for his arrest when he twice failed to appear in court on charges of allegedly stealing a pack of gum.

Police Chief Scott Haug, who has served the Idaho community of Post Falls for 30 years, said this was the first time he’s seen an arrest warrant for someone that young.

Haug said the child missed his day in court because his family didn’t have transportation to the courthouse.

Prosecutor Barry McHugh, who issued the warrant, said in a statement he regretted the decision and it was a “mistake under the circumstances.”

McHugh added that there was an alternative option that should have been pursued. “At least one other viable option existed, which was to seek a court-ordered child protection investigation…in order to make a better-informed decision as to the best course for the child.”

McHugh said he has taken steps to ensure this oversight does not happen in the future and “will do everything in my power to avoid this type of mistake in the future."

The boy was taken to the Juvenile Detention Center and released following a court hearing.