The family of a 7-year-old boy who was arrested and charged with stealing a purse in a Dallas-area mall is asking for donations to help pay for his legal defense.
According to the Harris County District Attorney’s office, Austin Williams was arrested on June 16, after a neighbor found his stolen purse on the ground in a vacant lot at the Westgate Shopping Center in the Dallas suburb of Irving.
The teen, who was charged with felony aggravated robbery, was transported to a local jail, where he was booked into the jail’s adult jail.
His bond was set at $10,000, and he was held on a $50,000 bond.
On Monday, the family announced a GoFundMe page to raise money for his defense.
They say he has severe physical injuries and needs extensive rehabilitation.
He has been living with his grandmother, a mother and her two sons.
On Wednesday, he was arrested again in a Walmart parking lot in the same parking lot where he stole the purse.
He’s now charged with misdemeanor aggravated robbery.
His bail was set by $1,000.
A GoFundme account was set up to help the family, and on Wednesday afternoon, it surpassed its $50 million goal, with more than $4,000 of its $10 million goal.
A Facebook page for Austin Williams called him a hero and thanked people who donated.
“I am truly grateful to all of you who are donating, and thank you for helping us raise funds,” the page said.
“Austin is the type of person that gets you through a tough time and gets you back on your feet.
He is a hero.”
A Gofundme spokesperson told CBS affiliate KTRK that the fund has received nearly $30,000 in donations.
The page says the family would like to send Austin to a mental health facility for help.