The two boys, 7 and 8, were accused of beating up a 10-year-old and stealing his bike

Credit: Hallandale Beach Police Department

Two second graders were handcuffed and arrested in Florida on Monday after they were accused of stealing another boy’s bike.

Hallandale Beach Police Chief Dwayne Flournoy tells PEOPLE that his officers should have “thought through” the arrests on Monday of the two children, ages 7 and 8.

Flournoy says his officers were dispatched to a local park after the mother of a 10-year-old boy called 911 Monday evening. The mother told police the younger boys had stolen her son’s bike and was insistent that “something be done.”

“Even one of the mothers of one of the child offenders wanted something to be done, because she said her son had been exhibiting certain behaviors,” Flournoy adds.

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The third boy’s mother was none too pleased by her son’s detention. She told several Floridian news outlets that her son’s arrest was unwarranted, claiming it followed soon after a brief scuffle between the three children.

Flournoy acknowledges his officers should have enlisted the help of the department’s juvenile officer Monday before handcuffing the two youths.

He notes there had been similar incidents with both boys in the same park in recent weeks.

The chief also bemoaned the perils of modern parenting. “When I was a kid, if someone came and said I’d beat someone up and taken a bicycle, I would have been safer in police custody than I would have been with my mom,” Flournoy laments. “Unfortunately, things aren’t the same as they were back then.”