Published: May 18, 2010 10:29 PM EDT

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. - WINK News viewers were shocked to see a disturbing scene unfold outside of a Lehigh Acres 7-11 Tuesday, May 18.

A young boy stood handcuffed and crying beside a Lee County Sheriff's Office cruiser in the convenience store parking lot. Witnesses say he was being reprimanded by authorities, who were threatening to put the child in jail; he was also placed in the rear of the police cruiser.

WINK News has learned that the five-year-old boy's mother sought help from authorities; she says the child has been setting fires in the home recently and she wanted to teach him a lesson.

But witnesses say the situation appeared out of control.

The Sheriff's Office has confirmed that this was not in line with protocol; the situation will be reviewed by authorities. The mother of the five-year-old child says she stands behind her decision to seek assistance from the Sheriff's Office.