Boy, 10, held in detention center after he ‘jokingly’ threatened to shoot up school

The 10-year-old kid whose picture was shared on the Internet after he ‘flippantly’ threatened to shoot up his Florida elementary school is still being held in a detention centre.

Daniel Marquez was jailed for 21 days last weekend by a court after being accused of conveying a written danger after sending three messages to a buddy that reportedly indicated he was planning to shoot up Patriot Elementary School in Cape Coral.

Authorities have taken those texts — two stock photographs and a message to a buddy stating he was anticipating the last day of school – completely out of context, the boy’s lawyer told.

‘It was an effort at humour, but it was fifth-grade humour,’ observed Douglas Molloy.

During a ‘perp walk’ aired online by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Daniel was handcuffed at his residence and dragged away by sheriff’s deputies. On Monday, officials also publicised the boy’s picture, emphasizing that ‘false intimidation’ has ‘real repercussions.’

The child is being held at the Collier County Juvenile Detention Center in Naples, Florida — 55 miles from his home with Army veteran dad Dereck Marquez, 35, his elder sibling and grandma.

Daniel’s horror started when the youngster who obtained the texts’ father became worried and reported them to the Lee County Sheriff’s Department, which then released the full might of the law on the elementary school honour student.

The claimed attack came just four days after a young shooter massacred 19 pupils and two instructors at a school in Uvalde, Texas.

According to the police complaint, Daniel texted a buddy and said, ‘I fooled a friend,’ along with a Google picture of money. ‘I purchased these,’ he said a few moments later, beside a photo of four assault rifles.

He subsequently texted, ‘Get prepared for water day,’ alluding to an end-of-the-school-year occasion in which pupils partake in aquatic activities.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno stated in a radio broadcast following the event that his squad did not ‘delay one second,’ adding, they examine every danger as if it’s true.

The sheriff added he ran a campaign. Real consequence, fake threat While he recognises the youngster is ten years old, his brain has not completely grown. He’s a child however he wishes to explain to all, irrespective of age, when a 10-year-old hits a trigger, the result is the same.

However, lawyer Molloy, who is battling for his client’s release, claims the texts were made in jest and were blown out of proportion. Molloy stated that based on what has been shown to him, Daniel was messaging a buddy and they were exchanging a flow of texts on a range of things. And inside it was what he can only describe as an effort at comedy – but it was fifth-grade humour.

He made an awful allusion to assault guns, except in a humorous manner, unrelated to any type of school assault. The next chat they had – ‘a little distanced in time,’ according to Molloy – was about how enthusiastic the youngster was for the Water Day event at school, which is a typical end of the school year.

There was no connection between the two items. There was meant to be something humorous in there somewhere, he continued.

He never said he was going to shoot up a school. It is coming to a conclusion. There is much discussion and back and forth concerning Water Day and the events. But nothing, absolutely nothing about shooting it up or mentioning firearms.

Molloy, a former state and federal attorney, said the messages were discovered by the pal’s dad. He explained he is not clear why the father had cause to study them. And this is a period when those two words, attack firearms, have increased sensitivity.

‘And, while Daniel did not utter those words, he did utilize a stock photo he obtained elsewhere.’ “I’ve got some issues about this text, what does it mean?” remarked the father Mr. Marquez.

‘Mr. Marquez was unaware of them and commented, “Well, this is just messing it off. So the other parent informed him that he had phoned the sheriff’s office.’

On Saturday, police came to the Marquez single-family home in Cape Coral. Dereck, a single father who served in the army in Iraq, relocated to Florida in 2018 and now works as a realtor. 

Molloy explained, Daniel’s dad explained to the officers why he was there and gave them the phone. And he was advised that since they are in the same sequence of events, this may be viewed as a threat. Daniel was then detained.

They arrested him and put him in the back of a cop car at his house. Mr. Marquez was not permitted to accompany him in the automobile, and Molloy thinks he met his son at the sheriff’s department substation.

After that, Daniel was prosecuted for making the threat and brought before a judge at the Lee County Courthouse, who had to assess if there was reasonable suspicion.

‘At the moment, Daniel was being defended by the first person Mr. Marquez could get on the phone, a very capable lawyer who opposed reasonable suspicion,’ Molloy added. He stated, “Look, there is no danger here, and there is no reasonable suspicion to keep him.”

The court disagreed and ruled that there was, and Daniel was kept for 21 days. He was brought to the Collier County juvenile jail centre since the one in Lee County is under renovation. He’s still around.

Daniel was ‘weeping all day’ following his arrest, according to Molloy. He has contacted the state attorney’s office, and they will be discussing possible release, he added.

His duty is to get the child out and give him back his life to not have everyone in that 10-year-life look at him strangely for the rest of his life. People still regard him as the honour student he is and that this was an unfortunate innocent casualty in the midst of the sickness that afflicts American culture at the moment.

His father is coming to see him tonight, and Molloy sees him tomorrow. Molloy is taking it all from his desk for this since they all have a 10-year-old somewhere in their lives. He has a grandchild, and doesn’t want to imagine how he would feel if he were in this scenario.

Daniel hails from a loving and stable household, according to Molloy, who added, He’s a boy scout, a youngster who succeeds in his academics, he is intelligent. He is educated and has a nice sense of humour. He’s a shy and introverted youngster who is incredibly affectionate. He’s not bothered by the fact that he doesn’t match the stereotype of an introvert; he’s just a happy fifth grader. What has occurred to him is more than regrettable.

Molloy said he didn’t know if Daniel was aware of the latest horrific shootings in Texas and elsewhere throughout the country. His father gave up the phone to the cops since he thought it was silly, maybe not the smartest thing to do, he explained.

When asked if the boy’s father saw Sheriff Marceno’s tough stance as an extreme reaction, Molloy responded, Mr. Marquez is quite distraught about the capture and what has occurred to his kid.

Molloy continued they’re talking about a single dad who participates in school events and volunteers at the school. His worries are entirely about Daniel; Molloy doesn’t believe he has considered the sheriff’s office’s activities beyond that.

Currently his head and emotions are for his son. The only reason he isn’t sitting here talking is as he’s having difficulty handling it. The father is just worried about his son’s present and future. He’s worried about what will occur when Daniel returns to school, how he’ll be handled and viewed.

Molloy refused to condemn the sheriff’s office, stating that he recognised the necessity for an inquiry. He added he can’t blame it, and he understands why it’s done. With any case, you never know, so he doesn’t criticise the inquiry.

That being said, there is a 10-year-old who is getting stirred up as a result of this country’s situation. One must wonder, ‘Would Daniel have been treated the same way if the Texas horror had not struck so quickly in our remembrances?’

He stated that he does not know if Daniel is detained in a different room at the detention centre due to his age. The folks in the juvenile justice system here are all devoted professionals. They are aware of his age and who he is, he continued. 

This is a system tailored to the person, and when there is an aberration in the system, they are on high alert.’

Molloy knows the child is getting the best care available given the situation. His father has been in contact with him. In his detention, he knows he is a nice and attentive child.

When asked if there were any guns in the Marquez home, Molloy said, he didn’t suppose there were any weapons in that residence, certainly no attack rifles. He inquired whether there were any unlocked guns in the home, and the response was negative.

Sheriff Marceno, a politically influential Republican who bills himself as “Florida’s Law and Order Sheriff,” has been in office because former state governor Rick Scott nominated him in 2018. He was elected in 2020.

He’s who described him as a “extremely hardworking, law-abiding officer who is a committed public servant.”

Marceno justified the perp walk after the boy’s detention, stating, every single threat is serious. Until you show otherwise, every threat is genuine.

He continued, one cannot get to walk into one of the schools in his county and present lethal force. Since they confront lethal force without fear.


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  1. June 15, 2022

    […] has also faced backlash as a result of Daniel’s arrest, including a stranger’s email that he shared on […]