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Mother concerned after OPD pulls 9-year-old from class; boy injured another child with rock

Posted at 5:52 PM, May 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-11 19:48:29-04

Omaha police officers pulled a nine year old boy from class at Druid Hill Elementary for questioning Wednesday about an altercation with a neighbor that happened weeks earlier.

The child's mother says they took the 9-year-old to the Douglas County Youth Center, read the third grader his rights and asked if he wanted a lawyer.

Tonight, his mother is claiming investigators denied her access to her son. 

Tiffanie Moore says her son - David Tate Junior - is facing two charges related to assault.

Moore doesn't deny the incident happened - she says it's all just a tragic accident. But she is questioning OPD's handling of the situation

Tonight, OPD tells us they could have handled it differently.

"They were playing and he picked up a rock and decided to throw it. He said I told him to duck but they didn't duck. And he ended up hitting the little boy in question," said Tiffanie Moore, mother of David Tate Junior.

The neighbor suffered a skull fracture and brain bleed and was hospitalized. 

"We've never had an incident like this happen and it was a tragedy that the little boy got hurt so severely and you know, we sent an apology note and we sent a get well letter," said Moore.

Yesterday, Tate's mom says he was yanked from class, taken to the Youth Center where he was questioned, had his mughsot taken and  was charged with second-degree felony assault and use of a weapon to commit a felony.

"For him to get arrested the way he did like he was a three time offender or has been previously arrested it was ridiculous," said Moore. 

Moore says law enforcement denied her access to her son. 

"Him being 9, he's not able to sign any paperwork, so if they took a statement from him, he wouldn't be able to sign it and I couldn't sign it because I wasn't there when you took that statement," said Moore. 

"I was worried I was going to get pulled away from my family," said Tate.

"My son was smart enough to ask for a lawyer but not every kid is," said Moore.

"They told me the reason why they picked him up at school is because in the past, previously people tried to hide their kids send them out of state," said Moore. 

The family says they're willing to cover the cost of the injured child's related medical bills.

"I feel upset about what happened and I feel like I don't want to come outside and play ever again," said Tate.

We  reached out to OPD who confirmed Tate was arrested April 23rd but didn't confirm if he had been charged. Tate's mother said he was charged Wednesday.

We asked about their standard procedures for arresting and questioning juveniles. They say they can't comment on specific cases but did send us this statement:

"Sometimes it is necessary to make arrests at school because that may be the only time when we know where to find a juvenile suspect. However, we acknowledge that this particular situation could have been handled better, and an arrest did not need to take place at school."

According to the Omaha Police policy and manuals guide, a juvenile can be read rights and questioned at an officer's discretion without a parent/guardian present.

Omaha Public School says: "At approximately noon yesterday, May 10, police arrived at the school requesting to speak with a third-grade student regarding a situation that happened outside of school. 

The student was subsequently detained by police and escorted from the building by police. The incident happened out of sight of students and staff, and law enforcement informed us that they would contact parents directly about the incident.
While we would prefer that incidents unrelated to school be handled off school grounds, we have an obligation to cooperate with our local law enforcement officers.
The safety of our students and staff remains our number one priority."