MESQUITE, Texas — The Dallas County District Attorney will seek to try six juveniles as adults after they were arrested early Sunday morning at the end of a crime spree, victims who met with the DA said Tuesday.
The spree started just before 1 a.m. Sunday when police were called to an apartment complex at 3055 West Pentagon Parkway in Dallas.
They were told six juvenile suspects had stolen a victim's black Chevy Malibu at gunpoint.
Officers then responded to a robbery call in the 900 block of Elsbeth Avenue, where the victim said he was walking home when a Malibu pulled up next to him.
Six people got out and surrounded him, eventually taking his stuff at gunpoint. One of the suspects punched the victim in that incident, police said.
After that, police said the suspects targeted Garrett and Caroline Scharton outside their home in Oak Cliff.
Both were walking their dog, and the security video that captured the robbery has since been shared nationwide.
In the video, you see one of the suspects shove a shotgun in the couple’s face, and Garrett can be heard saying, “Take whatever you want.”
After that, the suspects robbed a Domino's Pizza delivery employee, according to Dallas police, and eventually crashed into a fence in Mesquite after they were spotted by police.
All six juveniles remain in detention.
The Schartons told WFAA Tuesday that it’s difficult to take their focus off what happened to them.
“It makes me cringe," said Caroline Scharton. "It freaks me out, and the first thing you hear is that shotgun. I can imagine it all over again."
Airing concerns that were brought to them by a detective on the case, the Schartons met with District Attorney Faith Johnson Tuesday.
“We’re not going to just sit back and hope for the best,” Garrett Scharton said.
“Our posture is going to be pretty aggressive.”
In a Facebook post, Caroline wrote that a detective told her and her husband that in his four years at Dallas police, “the Juvenile DA has not tried one of his juvenile cases.”
A spokesperson for Dallas police confirmed the detective said that, telling WFAA that, “During the interview with the victims, the detective provided an answer based on his experience about the prosecution of juvenile cases.”
Mike Mata, the president of the Dallas Police Association, told WFAA in a statement that too often violent juvenile cases don’t get prosecuted and end with suspects just getting probation.
“The Dallas County Juvenile System has had a long history of being very lenient on juvenile criminals, which has resulted in continued criminal offenses, and unfortunately continued Dallas County victims," he said.
The statement continues saying, “Officers throughout the county remain discouraged with this system that allows not only dangerous young offenders to remain at large—but often hands down probation in lieu of trial.”
Mata’s statement then targets prosecutors by saying, “The Juvenile DA often rejects some cases even when there is enough probable cause and evidence; if they don’t think they can win it—they will often reject it.”
During their meeting with District Attorney Johnson, the Schartons said they were told that prosecutors will seek to try the teens as adults.
“She reached out to us and wanted to meet,” Garrett said. “She wanted to give us her support and commitment, pushing for adult charges where they can.”
However, a spokesperson for the DA wouldn’t comment on what direction prosecutors would take in the case.
In Texas, a judge ultimately decides whether to try a teen as an adult.
The Schartons told WFAA that they’ll be following each teen’s case carefully from here on out.
“The gun doesn’t have an age," Garrett said. "The bullets don’t have an age. The crime is an adult crime, and the trauma and terror are real."