The 10-year-old boy who was perp-walked by a Florida sheriff’s office after an alleged school shooting threat pleaded not guilty in court on Monday.
Daniel Marquez — a grade-schooler who was marched from a police station in handcuffs — was accompanied by his father when he entered his plea in Lee County juvenile court.
Marquez drew headlines as a pint-sized suspect after his arrest in May, which followed the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Officials said Marquez allegedly texted a friend that he had “scammed” someone out of a large sum of money and posted a stock image of guns alongside the boast.
The boy later told the friend to “get ready for water day” — a school-sponsored event, deputies said.
His father and lawyers criticized Lee County Sheriff Lee Marceno for publicizing the bust and claimed the messages were misinterpreted.
The dad, Dereck Marquez, asserts that the “water day” reference was not connected to the preceding messages.
The boy’s lawyer, Letitia Kim, reiterated that position at Monday’s appearance.
“Daniel Marquez is an innocent 10-year-old child who has been falsely accused and publicly maligned by the Lee County Sheriff,” she said, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
But Marceno has staunchly defended the arrest and its aftermath, arguing that the threat was clear and called for stiff treatment.
“As sheriff, the safety and security of our students and schools in Lee County has been my top priority,” he told The Post last month. “We act immediately to investigate any and all threats against our students or schools.”
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