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11-Year-Old Student Arrested Over Toy Gun Fight

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – An 11-year-old student at Edison Park K-8 in Little Haiti left the school in handcuffs Wednesday morning over an off-campus fight involving a toy gun.

"You've got a lot of innocent kids out here going to the school, anything can go wrong," worried Terrance Williams, the father of a student at the school.

Isaac Essex Jr., 10, says he witnessed the dust up a few blocks from the school Tuesday afternoon, which led to the boy's arrest.

According to police, the 11-year-old grabbed a fellow student and threatened him with a toy gun, ordering the victim to say "rest in peace" and then struck him with the toy gun.

The victim told police he believed the gun was real and was afraid for his life.

"I seen the kid, he holding onto the other kid, then he hit him and ran off, " Essex told CBS4's Natalia Zea.

"Did you think it was a real gun?" asked Zea.

"No, because I saw the orange tip on it," Essex said.

Another child who saw the scuffle told his father, who notified the principal Wednesday morning that a student had a gun.

School officials immediately searched the boy's backpack, discovered the toy and called Miami Police to investigate the off-campus fight.

A School District spokesperson says the victim never notified his parents, and when the school contacted them, his mother asked that the 11-year-old be charged.

Parents at the school have different viewpoints on the toy gun and the arrest.

"In this area and general and any other inner-city school there is no safety, whatsoever," said Alicia Reed.

Jonathan Tineos, a parent, disagrees.

"As long as the school is safe, what can we say, off campus, not the school's fault. Parents should know where their kids should be at and check the book bags," he told Zea.

Isaac Essex Sr. says he often tells his son that if he sees something, say something.

"I always talk to him about things that go on in the school, like if something happens to you, you tell the administrators, if nothing is taken care of with the administrators you come home and tell us and we'll take it from there," he said.

He believes parents should be more pro-active before trouble leads to handcuffs and criminal charges.

"You're following up on your child, not just rushing him out the door to go to school but keeping track on him, after school, before school, and even in the community," he added.

The 11-year-old is charged with aggravated battery and aggravated assault. He is set to be tried as a juvenile.

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