Boy charged in odd midvalley incident |

Boy charged in odd midvalley incident

An 11-year-old boy was charged with trespassing and criminal mischief Monday after he reportedly broke into a house in Missouri Heights and was caught by the homeowner.

Eagle County Deputy Sheriff Craig Sjoerdsma said the boy, whose name wasn’t released because he is a juvenile, entered a house on Vista Hi by pushing in a screen. The owner came home at around 3 p.m. and noticed movement out of the corner of her eye in the living room. She found the boy and started questioning him but immediately ran into a language barrier, Sjoerdsma said.

When the woman approached him, the boy produced a knife. It was unclear if the boy brought the knife with him or took it from the kitchen of the home. The boy gave the knife to the woman without confrontation, the deputy said.

The homeowner later told Sjoerdsma that she didn’t feel threatened or victimized in the incident.

The woman had the boy by the collar and was waiting for a neighbor to arrive to assist her when he broke her grip and ran from the house. A call to authorities created a stir because of the report the suspect had possessed a knife.

Some Basalt firefighters intimately familiar with the El Jebel area got involved in the boy hunt. They tracked him as he descended down a snow-covered trail toward the El Jebel Mobile Home Park.

The boy was captured without further incident. With the help of a translator, Sjoerdsma learned the suspect lived in the trailer park. He said he often played in the area near the house on Vista Hi, which was about a mile or so from his own home.

Sjoerdsma said he wasn’t able to determine if the boy broke into the house with the intent of burglary or simply to warm up. Nothing was taken from the house. It is an odd case because the boy’s intent is uncertain, the deputy said.

The boy, who looked younger than 11 because he was less than 5 feet tall, was turned over to the custody of his mother.

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