The mother called police Sunday after learning her son had disobeyed orders and repeatedly taken a Game Boy from its hiding place at his grandmother's house next door and played with it. He was arrested on petty larceny charges, taken to the local police station in handcuffs and held until his mother picked him up after church.
"My grandmother went out of her way to lay away a toy and paid on this thing for months," said the boy's mother, Brandi Ervin.
"It was only to teach my son a lesson. He's been going through life doing things...and getting away with it."
Police did not release the boy's name.
The mother said her son was diagnosed in the last year with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder but his medicine does not seem to help.
She said he faces an expulsion hearing at his school Wednesday. Rock Hill Police Capt. Mark Bollinger said the boy took a swing at a police officer assigned to the school last month. He has been suspended from school since then.
The boy's case will be presented to Department of Juvenile Justice officials in York County, who will decide what happens to him, Bollinger said. His mother hopes he can attend a program that will finally scare him straight.
"It's not even about the Christmas present," she said.
"I only want positive things out of it...There's no need for him to act this way. I'd rather call myself than someone else call for him doing something worse than this."