JAMS — Three juveniles were arrested on a felony charge of armed robbery Wednesday evening after allegedly threatening a younger child with a knife and taking his cell phone and some petty cash.

The call to the police came in at 5:33 p.m. from John Adams Middle School at the 2400 block of 17th Street, according to police department spokesman Sgt. Richard Lewis.

A 13-year-old male was waiting near the JAMS sign next to the auditorium for his parent to pick him up after rehearsal for the school’s production of “Grease” let out. Three young men approached him.

The oldest, a 17-year-old male who attends a local high school, asked to use the victim’s cell phone. The younger boy said no, at which point the 17 year old allegedly took out a closed, folding-blade knife and held it down by his side.

He then grabbed the phone, a Samsung Evergreen, and also demanded and received the $5 that the victim had on him.

The three fled the scene.

When the victim’s father arrived, he called the police. Officers set up a perimeter in the area and caught all three involved, Lewis said. The other two were both 14 years old, one from a local middle school and the other from a local high school.

The 17 year old was taken to Juvenile Hall, and the younger two were not. All three were charged with felony counts of armed robbery. Police did not identify the three because they are minors.

The victim was shaken up by the experience, his father said Thursday.

“I think the fact that they were his age, he didn’t think anything of it,” said the parent, who didn’t want to be identified. “Now what was a safe and familiar territory suddenly turns into something eerie and scary.”

He praised the police, who acted with warmth toward his scared son, but had less pleasant words for the school district.

“I understand that the school has responsibility from the time they leave the building to the time they get home,” the parent said. “I don’t think they exercise that responsibility very well. It’s not like he was on Pico (Boulevard) or something. He was on the grassy spot, right after play rehearsal.”


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