Wednesday, July 10, 2013

‘Kids don’t need to carry guns’

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A suspect armed with an Airsoft BB gun bandit was caught robbing people at a Portland park. And police said he’s only 13-years-old.

The dad of one of the victims came to the rescue, and said his son made all the right moves.

“I don’t understand why kids are doing this,” he told KOIN 6 News. “I’m from a small town. Kids don’t need to carry guns.”

“My stomach was turning,” said dad Matthew Campbell. “For something to happen like that, I was just really worried about my son.”

It happened at Glenwood Park in southeast Portland. Glenwood Park is normally filled with kids and families. But what happened Monday evening shook a lot of people up, especially two 11-year-old boys.

“He was like, ‘Hey, give me the board,’” said Gavin Campbell, who had his skateboard stolen Monday. “And he puts the [airsoft] gun in my face like this … like that far away!”

Eleven-year-old Gavin and his friend Kyle Neal were just walking through the park when it happened.

“I wanted to do something [to fight back] so bad,” Gavin said, “but I knew I shouldn’t.”

Just a day before this July 9, 2013, image, a 13-year-old with an Airsoft pistol was reported to have robbed an 11-year-old boy of his skateboard near this spot in Glenwood Park in southeast Portland. (KOIN 6 News, Gary Kahne)

So, Gavin gave up the skateboard to a 13-year-old boy carrying an Airsoft pistol — and Kyle stepped away to call for help.

“I got out my phone, and I went to my contacts,” Kyle said. Gavin’s dad Matthew picked up.

He and Kyle’s dad Ken jumped in the car and were at the park in minutes, as Ken’s wife called 911.

The 13-year old was still in the park when they got there.

“I immediately jumped out of the truck,” Matthew said. “And I snatched the skateboard from him and I saw  a [airsoft] pistol sticking out of his pants, and so I snatched the [airsoft] pistol out of his pants, and I said, ‘Let’s go find your parents!”

The boy’s parents weren’t there, but by that time Portland police were. They took the 13-year-old to juvenile detention.

As it turned out, the teen had been reported to have threatened several other people in the park before he turned on Gavin and Kyle.

“I think it’s pretty messed up,” Kyle told KOIN 6 News.

Matthew Campbell talks to KOIN 6 News about driving down to this park after his son was robbed of his skateboard by a teen with a [airsoft] mock gun. (KOIN 6 News, Gary Kahne)

Gavin’s dad Matthew said he’s glad that Kyle had his phone, and that Gavin gave up the skateboard.

“I did the right thing I think,” Gavin says now.

But both dads said it’s a shame that a 13 year-old tried to terrorize a neighborhood park.

“I don’t understand why kids are doing this,” said Ken, Kyle’s dad. “I’m from a small town. Kids don’t need to carry guns.”

Both Kyle and Gavin said they recognized the 13-year-old from the neighborhood. He’s now at the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Home, charged with second-degree armed robbery.


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