LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. - A five-year-old in handcuffs was threatened to be hauled off to jail... and the boys mother told the deputy to do it. She said it was her way of teaching him a lesson.
It happened in a parking lot and one of our viewers took a picture of it.
I spoke with a child psychiatrist who said the boy is too young to be a taught a lesson this way.
A 5-year-old boy is cuffed, and put in a cruiser. His mom said she asked a friend at the sheriff's office to teach him a lesson.
"I hope it scared him to figure out that he's not going to play with matches or lighters again. That was the whole point of it - to make him afraid that he was going to go to jail."
It happened in public. One woman is very upset about what she saw and how the deputy was talking to the boy.
'"You want to go to jail? You want to go to jail?' ...and the little boy is just crying. I've been crying since I saw this."
Heidi is a mother and said she would never parent like this - no matter what her kids did wrong. Child psychiatrist Omar Rieche agreed the discipline was too much.
"No matter what the details are, when you see that picture, it says so much. "The age in which this is being done is inappropriate, so it's misguided."
The boys mother said she would do it again.
"If more parents did what I did, we wouldn't have crime that we have now."
Witnesses said after being cuffed, thrown in the car, and got a talking to... the boy was free to go. His mom said he learned his lesson.
"I saw fit that he needed to be scared."
But others argue...
"It went too far."
The Lee County Sheriff's Office said a deputy doing this is not protocol and said it will not happen again.