EXCLUSIVE: Kids arrested after water balloon fight

June 21, 2010 2:46:12 PM PDT
Parents say police over reacted after a water balloon fight saying that cops went too far when they arrested their kids, one as young as 12 and some spent up to 20 hours.

It happened last month in the Bronx at Walton Avenue and east 171st street

Monday, a lawsuit was filed by the parents, and Eyewitness News has the exclusive information.

"We were having fun that day, it was hot," said 16-year-old Erick Martinez.

Martinez was arrested and spent the night in jail with Ryan Ginyard for unlawful assembly. Jayvon McKinney is 12, and he was also cuffed and arrested. Police tell Eyewitness News that two neighbors at 171st and Walton Avenue had called 911. Martinez says he could not believe he was in handcuffs over water balloons and his mom says she never knew he was arrested.

"I started getting frightened and was crying," said Judith Guerrero.

She finally made it to the precinct and found him.

"I asked why he wasn't able to call me and why no one else did and they said they were keeping him here to punish him," adds Guerrero.

But if you talk to eyewitnesses, who saw what happened, they can't believe lawyers are involved or that the police had to come. They blame the parents.

"You can't blame police! I blame the parents, I'm old school," said Jeffery Washington.

Washington, who lives in the area, says he saw it all and so did the building super Manuel Cepeda, who thanked police.

"It was almost like a riot? Like a gang war but with water not bullets," adds Washington.

Still, others, who did not witness what happened, say c'mon it was 92 degrees that day.

The attorney points to the affidavit to decline prosecution, which only mentions kids and water balloons. No gangs, no riots.

The mother is suing and asking for justice, specifically she wants someone to pay.