In class, we often discuss the limitations on suing children for torts, particularly children under seven. Now, an Australian case represents the problem in dealing with kids who cause destruction. In this case, a seven-year-old broke into a zoo, bludgeoned lizards to death and fed them to Terry, a large crocodile.
The rampage was caught on film. Expressionless, the boy methodically kills 13 animals in total, including a large turtle, bearded dragons, goannas and lizards including Thorny Devils and Western Blue tongues.
Children are liable for crimes in the United States, but unless they are legally treated as adults, they can be generally confined only until the age of majority (18). In torts, kids can be liable for intentional torts. However, in negligence, children below seven are often treated as incapable of negligence — lacking capacity. Even when subject to trial, the jury must determine what a child of this level of maturity, intelligence, and development would have done.
Obviously, this kid is pretty troubled and lack parental supervision. At a minimum, the parents can normally be (and should be) held liable.
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5 thoughts on “Seven-Year-Old Breaks Into Zoo, Clubs Animals to Death, and Feeds Others to Crocodile”
On the serious side, this kid and his family all need severe psychological help before Jr. decides humans are easier to kill.
“Your baby ate the dingo?”
Most serial killers start out torturing and killing animals. It’s the reported lack of emotion that scared me.
Parents fault all the way. Kids 7 years old? Too young to be able to be competent therefore he can’t be negligent. Parents fault.
And what the hell are the parents doing to the kid to make him so damn violent?
Why aren’t you reporting the larger story behind this? This whole family has been in trouble for years… Alice Springs has been writing about these people and asking for help for a long time.
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