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June 23, 2006

14-Year-Old Remanded in Hand Gun Incident;
Parents Warned to Keep Weapons Securely Locked

OSWEGO – Oswego County Attorney Richard C. Mitchell announced today that a juvenile delinquency petition has been filed against a 14-year-old male who allegedly held a loaded pistol to another 14-year-old’s head during an altercation. The incident occurred June 19 at a home in the Town of New Haven.

The pistol had been left loaded and unsecured in the home where the incident occurred, and was easily accessible to small children, said Investigator Chad McCarty of the New York State Police. Four children between the ages of four and 12, and a 16-year-old, were also in the room.

Mitchell said the youth held a loaded .32-caliber Beretta handgun to the back of the other youth’s head, with his finger on the trigger. If committed by an adult, the charges would constitute criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, reckless endangerment in the first degree, and menacing in the second degree.

The youth was arrested by New York State Police. He appeared before Oswego County Family Court Judge Hon. David Roman and was remanded to a secure detention facility in Monroe County.

“This event could have easily ended in tragedy, with death or serious physical injury being sustained,” said Investigator McCarty. “Such an event should serve as a grim reminder that firearm safety is paramount. Persons who possess firearms must ensure that firearms are stored in a secure location and in a safe and unloaded condition. Extra precautionary measures, such as trigger locks, should be utilized to ensure firearm safety.”

The owner of the handgun had his pistol permit suspended by County Court Judge James McCarthy at the request of the county.

“I would like to thank the State Police for their work on this case,” said Mitchell. “This should be a wake-up call to parents. It’s a prime example of what can happen if guns are not properly secured and stored.”

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