Florida man charged with involving 8-year-old boy in crime spree

Florida man charged with involving 8-year-old boy in crime spree


A Florida man has been accused of contributing to the delinquency of his 8-year-old son after deputies say he had the kid tag along with him during a recent series of crimes.

When Ernest McKnight III, 36, was asked by a detective why he had the child with him he replied,  “I was trying to toughen him up. … I don’t want him to be soft,” Brian Bruchey, a spokesman for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said.

He said the boy was with McKnight, of Winter Haven, last week when deputies say McKnight burglarized three unoccupied dwellings, stole a car and made off with a package stolen from a porch.The alleged crimes all took place in the City of Lake Wales.

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“Taking a child out with you while you’re committing felonies is not the proper way to create a positive influence,” Sheriff Grady Judd said. “I’m quite confident that there is not a child psychologist out there who would agree

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