Armed boy uses niece as shield, police say

Published Feb. 21, 1996|Updated Sept. 15, 2005

A 10-year-old with a loaded shotgun is charged with using his 3-year-old niece as a shield in a standoff with a truant officer because he didn't want to go to school.

For seven minutes Monday, fourth-grader Timothy Becton held Polk sheriff's Deputy Eric Rauch at bay with a 12-gauge shotgun when the officer arrived at the boy's home to check on him, a sheriff's spokeswoman said.

As backup deputies began arriving, the boy grabbed his niece, put her in front of him and told Rauch to shoot, said sheriff's spokeswoman Sonya Dodds.

The young Becton, known to school authorities as a habitual truant, kept the loaded weapon aimed at Rauch and told the officer he would rather shoot him than go to school, Dodds said.

The incident in the Becton living room ended when Timothy's grandmother, Minnie Lee Parker, came down the road, pushed passed the deputy and took the gun from Timothy.

Dodds said the boy's father came home and accused officials of picking on his son. "If it would have been me, I would have shot the deputy," Billy Becton said.

Timothy Becton was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm on a law enforcement officer, armed kidnapping and criminal mischief. His father, 40, was charged with extortion and resisting an officer without violence.