BROOKLYN - A witness who recorded the arrest of two 10-year-old boys after they allegedly mugged a 67-year-old woman says she's shocked by how police handled the situation.

"They deserve to be punished for what they did," she says, asking that her face not be shown on camera. "But I don't think it's appropriate for officers to be handling these children like they're grown men."

According to police, the 10-year-old suspects stole the pocketbook from a 67-year-old woman in broad daylight Monday. It happened on Empire Boulevard and Roger Avenue. Reports say the kids struggled with the woman as they tried to get the purse. One of the boys allegedly slapped her before running away.

Cellphone video taken of the arrest shows the boys handcuffed. The witness says she thought police seemed to forget that the suspects were just boys.

Police say the boys were handcuffed on the street because they were suspected of committing a crime.

The boys have both been charged with misdemeanor assault and reckless robbery. 

News 12 spoke earlier with the mother of one of the two young boys. She apologized, but says her son is innocent and just hanging around with the wrong crowd.

She says as a single mother it's not easy keeping her kids out of trouble. 

Officials say the boys were caught about a block away, but not before trying to fight off the cops.

The mother says she hopes her son gets off on probation, and has sent him to counseling.

"I just don't want my son to wind up dead or in jail at an early age," the mother says. "So I'm trying to get help."