HALLOWELL, Maine (NECN) - It was a Tuesday morning in April. Police say a worker at a family day care and pre-school in Hallowell went into the bag of a four year old boy looking for some clothes. She was stunned by what she found...a loaded gun.
Police say the weapon was a smith and wesson 380 semi automatic and fully loaded. Hallowell Police Chief Eric Nason says the day care took immediate action. Workers got the gun out of the house and called police. Police confiscated the weapon and learned it belonged to the 4 year old's father.
Police say the father kept the gun in his truck, he reported it stolen on april 18th, but it wasn't found until 5 days later in the boy's bag, prompting many questions...who
put the gun in the bag?
The bag is used by the boy's divorced parents to transfer his belongings from one home to the other. The father has refused to talk to police and they have chosen not to interview the young boy. The case has been referred to the department of health and human services and the Kennebec County District Attorney.
Maeghan Maloney says two charges could apply in this case, the first, unlawful transfer of a handgun to a minor. "The other statute is endangering the welfare of a child, that statute only requires reckless conduct."
Maloney says she will wait to get the report from DHHS before deciding whether to file any charges. In downtown Hallowell, residents say this could have easily turned into a
The police chief doesn't believe the boy knew the gun was in in his bag, but they don't have all the answers yet. He does know they got lucky, because a child could have easily found that gun first.
The district attorney says a decision on whether to file charges will likely be made by the end of the month.
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