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August 24, 2016

Fifth-grader in Newark, New Jersey, mistaken for robbery suspect

Legend Preston, 10, said police drew their guns as they chased him into an alley

A 10-year-old boy is shown crying in a Facebook video after Newark police allegedly chased him on Aug. 11 with guns drawn after they mistook him for a suspect in an armed robbery.

Legend Preston, a fifth-grader, went to retrieve a basketball after it rolled into the street as he played on a nearby court, 6ABC reported Wednesday. Legend told the news station that he thought the police chased him into an alley for running into the street without looking for cars. Witnesses stepped in to de-escalate the situation.

He told 6abc:

"Some police started coming this way with guns pointed at me, and then I ran into the backyard."

Police said they never pointed a gun at the boy and later caught Casey Joseph Robinson, 20, who was then charged with the armed robbery.

Patisha Solomon, the boy's mother, took to Facebook to voice her outrage at the police.

She wrote:

"Why try to abuse our children and turn our young men into fearful heartless men ... ? My son is in counselling even scared to go play because it happened right at our house. You despicable cops have no care for our children. My fun-loving child is forever changed!!!"

The post is accompanied by a video which shows Preston crying.

"He's nervous!" Solomon said in the video. "He had guns drawn on him. It's [all right], sweetheart. A 10-year-old child with guns drawn [on] him by the Newark police and the best they could tell me is go make a report if I have something to say about it."