Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown's teenage son is in trouble with the law. Byron Brown, III, is accused of shoplifting at a North Buffalo store over the weekend.
"It was a mistake that we wish our son had not made," says Mayor Brown (D-Buffalo).
The shoplifting arrest happened around 8:50 p.m. Saturday. Police say A.J. Wright employees at the store on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo caught 19-year-old Byron Brown stealing a boom box for an Ipod and packages of Hanes T-shirts. The value of items totaled less than $60 dollars.
"Certainly for my wife and I this is very disappointing. It's hurtful," says Mayor Brown.
The arrest comes three years after another publicly hurtful situation for Mayor Brown involving his son. Back in February 2007 the then 16-year-old Byron Brown crashed his mother's sport utility vehicle into several parked cars near Canisius College and then apparently lied about it to his parents for several days. He pleaded guilty in that case to unlicensed driving, leaving the scene of an accident, and he paid a fine.
Legal experts say the punishment this time may include a trip to shoplifting school. "If they do (attend) and finish it successfully they're given what's called an ACD -- an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal -- which simply means after a stated period of time the charges are dismissed and the file is sealed," explains former Erie County District Attorney Frank Clark.
Mayor Brown says he had a long talk with his son and the younger Byron offered no good reason for the theft but the mayor says his son is very remorseful. "It was very difficult weekend in our household but we will work with him to emerge from this stronger, better, smarter," says Brown.
The mayor also points out that his son is a good student who made the Dean's List at Erie Community College last semester, and he's preparing to start school in Binghamton in the fall.