Dallas Robbery Victims Pushing for Juvenile Justice Reform

A Dallas couple robbed at gunpoint in a crime spree is on a mission for justice.

They want to ensure that all six teens arrested in the case make it to trial.

The home surveillance video still haunts Garrett and Caroline Scharton. In it, you can see the couple robbed at gunpoint while walking their dog, just outside their home in North Oak Cliff.

"When I go back and I picture it in my head and how close that shotgun was and him holding it directly in my husband's face, that is when it was just sheer terror, that they could take away my family,” said Caroline Scharton.

Garrett can be seen shielding his wife on the ground as they stared down the barrel of a shotgun.

"I'd convinced myself that I was probably going to die and that at least on the way out, I could protect the one thing I love,” he said.

Dallas police said the crime spree targeted five people across the city. The Schartons fear they may never get justice for it, because all six teens arrested are minors. That warning — a heads up from the detective working their case.

"In the four years that he's been with DPD, that not a single one of his juvenile cases has been brought to trial. They would be lucky to get probation, if that,” said Caroline Scharton.

Dallas Police Association President, Mike Mata, agrees with the assessment.

"I think the judges want to clear their docket sometimes,” Mata said.

He said officers do what they can to make the arrests, but juvenile judges get the final say.

“And then you have a second category who are really out there doing violent, violent offenses and are repeat offenders of violent offenses and they need to be handled differently,” Mata said.

It's a cycle the Schartons want to help end.

"All of that comes down to what kind of city are you going to tolerate? What kind of city do you expect? We expect Dallas to be great,” said Garrett Scharton.

As the couple tries to overcome the trauma, they’re also working to make change. So far, their online petition requesting these teens be tried as adults, has more than 17-hundred signatures. They've also met with city leaders.

"We're going to come after the city to fix this because people have seen his problem, They know how violent it is. I don't care about their age,” Caroline Scharton said.

NBC 5 reached out to the District Attorney's office asking for comment, so far no response. But NBC 5 has learned there's a hearing for these teenage suspects on Thursday and we're being told it's now in a public courtroom.

The Schartons are hosting a community town hall Tuesday night at BrainDead Brewing in Deep Ellum. It's from 6-8 p.m. at 2625 Main Street. 

They say they want everyone to have a voice and be informed.

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