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Man wants to press charges against 16 yo foster kid; foster parents beg him not to. AITA?

Man wants to press charges against 16 yo foster kid; foster parents beg him not to. AITA?


When this man feels guilty for wanting to press charges against a troubled teen living next door, he asks Reddit:

"AITA for wanting to press charges against a foster kid?"

My neighbors are fostering children. Usually they take in either young kids or non-problematic ones, but recently they took in a 16 year old boy, I’ll call him “Ace” for the sake of anonymity.

As far as I know, Ace comes from a very troubled background. He has some mental health issues and developmental difficulties, and he’s already been to youth prison at the age of 16. In my opinion, his foster parents are very lenient about controlling him as I’ve seen him multiple times smoking a vape in their back garden.

A year ago and my wife bought a very expensive luxury car that costed about 50 thousand dollars. We keep it in our driveway as our neighborhood is relatively safe.

A few days ago, Ace stole his foster parents’ car and crashed it into our car, which ended up getting our car totalled as the damage was too bad. It also destroyed their car, the kid wasn’t hurt only by sheer luck.

I decided to press charges against Ace. His foster parents begged me to not do it, saying that he’s in counselling and they’re working on his issues.

They offered to pay for the repairs and to contribute to getting a new car as luckily they had insurance. In all honesty, I would’ve appreciated if they paid me for the damage their lenience caused, but I think it would be fair if the young delinquent would’ve be punished, so I refused to drop the charges even after they paid me.

I told them that the kid is already a huge menace and I don’t want a criminal in the making to get away with a serious crime and continue causing harm to others.

They told me to give them the money back (it was $10k) and I said no because they paid me for their own poor control over a troubled teen, basically punishing themselves, and that the punishment for Ace would be decided by the state.

I’m positive that he will be locked up for a few years, but to be honest, I think he deserves it as he literally stole a vehicle, joyrode it, luckily didn’t kill or injure anyone and crashed the vehicle into another, very expensive one.

They called me a massive a-hole, and my wife said I overreacted, that I should’ve either drop the charges or give them the money back.

Edit because I forgot to mention some important things: I was upfront with them that I won’t drop the charges no matter how much they’d pay me, they hoped that I’ll change my mind when I get the money and they got mad when I didn’t. I don’t have any issues with them as they paid for their negligence, the issue is the kid.

Let's see what readers thought.

seregil47 writes:

YTA. This is about revenge. You're pissed and want the kid to hurt. You also want to hurt the neighbors. This has nothing to do with making sure others are protected.

Furthermore, it sounds like you might have taken payment from them with the understanding that you would drop the charges. If that's the case and you didn't drop the charges, you're stealing from them.

lordernsvisage writes:

YTA - just sounds like revenge to me. You want "the best for the kid" let him go to counceling. If he get's "looked up to learn his lesson", he will probaply come out worse, because prison dosen't make better persons integration and rehabilitation does.

Why on earth would you take the 10K? You don't need them you got the insurance money, that's what insurance is for. You just want to punish the parents to.

"I don’t have any issues with them as they paid for their negligence, the issue is the kid." Yes these evil parents dont look there kids up proerly and don't monitore them 24-7. You can't even say it's there "parenting fauls" if they took him as a foster child.

owloctave writes:

YTA. You didn't have to accept the $10K. If you knew you were going to press charges either way, and insurance was covering it, you shouldn't have accepted their money.

As a side note, have you ever been 16? Did you ever do something dumb that endangered yourself and others? I bet you did and I bet you got away with it much of the time.

This is a kid - his brain isn't fully formed, he doesn't have the same sense of right and wrong as an adult, and he doesn't have the same understanding of danger and mortality. And on top of that, he grew up in the system, where he didn't have a stable family. Let his parents punish him.

Looks like OP is TA here. Do you agree?

Sources: Reddit
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