Virginia teen charged with stealing ‘free’ milk from school to stand trial
DUMFRIES, Va. — A Virginia teenager accused of stealing a 65-cent carton of milk is slated to stand trial for disorderly conduct and petit larceny charges, according to the Washington Post.
We first told you about 14-year-old Ryan Turk earlier this year after he was arrested and charged with stealing the carton of milk from the school cafeteria and pushing a school resource officer.
As it turned out, Ryan was on the school’s free lunch program and the milk was free.
Last week, Ryan turned down an offer of nonjudicial punishment, and a Prince William County judge set a trial date in November.
The situation began May 10 at Graham Park Middle School in Triangle when Ryan says he forgot his milk and returned to the lunch line to get it.
That’s when a school resource officer accused the teen of cutting the line and stealing the milk, according to the Post.
Police said that’s when Ryan became disorderly and needed to be placed in handcuffs.
The teenager said he indeed pulled back from the officer.
“I yanked away from him I told him to get off of me because he’s not my Dad,” the middle school student said back in May.
The teen, who is now a freshman in high school, was then taken to the principal’s office and searched for drugs, said Ryan’s mother, Shamise Turk.
She alleges her son was discriminated against and treated like a criminal. The officer and principal involved are also black.
“No one needs to be punished for stealing a 65-cent carton of milk,” said Emmett Robinson, a lawyer representing the family who said Ryan’s arrest was related to institutional racism. “This officer treats kids like they’re criminals, and guess what happens — they’re going to become criminals.”
Phil Kavits, a Prince William County schools spokesman, said that he could not comment on the specifics of the incident but that it is not a race-related issue.
“All the key parties involved, including the principal and the police officer, are African American,” Kavits said in a statement. “The staff members are well known in our highly diverse community for their dedication and caring approach to all students.”