When a 9-year-old boy Florida found a loaded handgun in a movie theater bathroom on Father’s Day, police were quick to call for the the perpetrator’s head on a post.
“We believe that this would meet the standard of willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others, to leave a loaded weapon where a child — and in this case a 9-year-old found the gun — that certainly put others at risk and we’re just thankful that a very responsible law-abiding citizen found the gun and did the right thing,” said Tampa Police Spokesperson Laura McElroy.
The boy’s father, Wesley Noland, said: “I think the gentleman should be punished. He should have to answer for what he did. He put a lot of people’s live in jeopardy yesterday.”
Even the boy chimed in with: ”Like what my dad said, if a kid could pick that up then [someone] could have gotten killed or shot on Father’s Day which could have been like a horrifying fact.”
However, when a Florida TV station learned the gun belonged to and was left in the bathroom by 38-year-old off-duty Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Detective Luke Hussey, calls for retribution fell eerily silent.
“When he went to the bathroom, he left his own personal firearm [a Glock 26] in one of the stalls. After about an hour, an hour and a half, he realized it was gone and immediately contacted the manager and went searching for his gun,” said Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Larry McKinnon.
The Tampa Police Department said it had identified Hussey as the owner and will not press any charges.
“At this point, we are in the process of turning the weapon over to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and they will handle the case administratively,” said the same Laura McElroy who previously said the actor could be charged.