Local News

Charges Dropped Against Elian Protest Boy

Posted Updated
Switch to classic wral.com

MIAMI (AP) — Charges have been dropped against the youngest person arrested during protests over the government's April seizure of 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez.

Christopher Quintana, 11, was accused of blocking traffic and inciting a riot, a felony. The charge was later dropped, but the sixth-grader still faced one count of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.

On Wednesday, the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office dropped the misdemeanor charge. Prosecutors also dropped the same charge against his 16-year-old brother.

Don Ungurait, state attorney's office spokesman, said the charge was dropped because the arresting officer gave prosecutors a conflicting story about Christopher's actions.

More than 350 people were arrested when Cuban-Americans took to the streets and burned debris after the April 22 raid that removed Elian from his Miami relatives. None served jail time and most of the felony charges were dropped.

Elian, who was rescued off the Florida coast in November after surviving a boat sinking, returned to Cuba in June after an international tug-of-war.