Ernest Dempsey — There are times when a ‘minor’ can commit a major offense, becoming somebody’s nightmare. The recent incident involving the 17-year-old Jarred Scott Poole’s assault on a woman and her dogs in Daytona, Florida, is such a story, evoking concern and raising questions about whether law should show leniency to minors on basis of their age if found guilty of such crimes.
As the story details, Poole physically attacked the woman and repeatedly threw her dogs in the traffic on the road. This led to one dog’s death, a puppy, as it got fatal injuries on the road while the other dog set in motion by the situation got hit by a vehicle and ran away in fear. The woman, 23-year old Jasmine Adams, was also attacked and choked by Poole – her being also pregnant. The police arrested Poole but soon let him go, as reported by an animal rights activist who called the Daytona police that arrested Poole after the incident. The activist in question was told by the concerned juvenile detention section that any details could not be released about Poole as he was a minor.
One may choose to ask the question here how arbitrary our definition of adulthood and age is in relation to the special consideration given to minors who are just a year (or perhaps months or weeks) younger than what is officially considered an adult. A 17-year-old teen as Poole who reportedly has commtted an act of aggression fatal for one family pet and potentially destructive to three other lives – including an unborn child – is clearly as capable of killing as a dangerous criminal who has reached the age of majority. Such an individual can be a minor but his physical strength and capability of doing significant intentional harm is no less than an adult. So when such a person practically terrorizes somebody, he would be expected to be kept in detention; letting him go so soon may not only be possibly threatening to others but detrimental to the psyche of this teen who gets the message: “cool, it’s safe to hurt people and kill pets!”
In contrast, a dog that gets somebody as slight scratch gets killed for it supposedly poses a threat to the public. How do we justify this self-contradictory status of law relating public safety? An animal that left a scratch or just a small bite on a person will be killed for being a public threat, sometimes without evidence; but a human who does practical harm and threatens and destroys life is left to go free while the case is investigated by the police.
Given the incident involving Poole, a petition has been started online asking for maximum punishment for Poole for what he did to Adams and her pets and Facebook page has also been created to gather support in favor of Adams and demand justice in this case where a dangerous guy may get away under the official wing marked as “minor”.