10-Year Old Arrested for Fighting With Sister

Filed under: Weird But True

Is sibling rivalry a crime? Image: sanja gjenero/sxc.hu

For the most part, growing up with a sister close to my own age meant always having a friend close by. She was someone I could play with, confide in, and side with against our older brother. But she was also a handy target when I was feeling mad, frustrated or just looking for a fight. When we weren't happily playing side by side, we were taping a line down the center of our shared bedroom and daring the other to cross it.

As with many sisters, ours was a love-hate relationship that occasionally boiled over into actual physical aggression. We never seriously injured one another, but we definitely had some hands-on disagreements that usually ended with one or both of us being punished.

So, what's an appropriate punishment for hitting your sister? How about being arrested and charged with assault? That's what happened to 10-year-old Reagan Greene after she and her 13-year-old sister Desiree got into it at a playground in Flower Mound, Texas.

It isn't clear what the sisters were fighting about, but they had already gotten over it and gone home when the arrest occurred. Apparently someone who witnessed the fight at the playground contacted the police, who determined that this was a case of family violence and that state law required them to take some type of action.

After examining the girls' injuries, police determined that Desiree seemed to have gotten the worst of it and took her little sister into custody. The girls' mother, Rhonda Greene, says she is now concerned about how the arrest may have "scarred" her 10-year-old.

Okay, so someone called the cops and the cops are required to investigate. I get that. But the requirement that they "take some type of action" sounds deliberately designed to give police some wiggle room when it comes to how they respond. Could they not have come up a more appropriate course of action that would put the fear into both girls and not result in one of them having a police record?

What do you think about this? Would you call the police if you saw two sisters fighting on a playground? And is it really the job of the police to punish siblings for fighting?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.