“pre-school aged child carried a loaded pistol into an elementary school” yesterday. Father arrested.

Photo by PoPville flickr user Caitlin Faw

From MPD:

“Detectives with the Metropolitan Police Department’s Seventh District Detectives Unit have announced an arrest has been made after a pre-school aged child carried a loaded pistol into an elementary school in the 1500 block of Morris Road, Southeast.

On Tuesday, November 1, 2016, around 9:30 am, a school security guard was checking the pre-school aged child’s backpack and found a loaded, semi-automatic pistol.

On Tuesday, November 1, 2016, the child’s father, 31 year-old Anthony Earl Chiles, of Southeast, DC, was arrested and charged with Carrying a Pistol Without a License, Possession of Unregistered Ammunition, and Recklessly Endangering a Child’s Physical, Mental or Emotional Health.”

65 Comment

  • Preschool aged. That’s 3 or 4, or maybe 5 at the most. Poor kid, to be saddled with a dad like that.

    • If the system was concerned about his parenting skills, the sentence would involve parenting classes, not jail time. What the hell is a few years in jail going to do to improve his parenting skills? The criminal justice system is a hammer that thinks every problem is a nail. Completely useless and seemingly only designed to benefit companies that use prison labor and construction companies that build prisons.

      • I disagree I think it should be an illegal offense to posses a fire arm and not have it secured around children. With guns comes responsibility. If you have a loaded fire arm you should be obligated to keep it out of reach of children . This could have been a disaster

  • I’m assuming this is at Moten which is a pk3-5 campus. Why do they have to do backpack checks at a Pk3-5 campus. That’s the sad thing.

    • Uh – because kids bring in weapons sometimes?

    • It’s possible that they only check backpacks that are unusually heavy–as I’m sure this one was, or even that the child’s teacher had a particular concern and called security in to check it out. Still depressing as all get out.

    • That is kind of crazy to backpack checks at that age. My son is 4 and we just put the backpack in his cubbie and it stays there until its moved to aftercare in the evening. I do not think anyone ever opens it unless my son mentions the snacks we leave in there for the afternoon but not an actual check

    • Yes, This was Moten and there are detectors and guards at the front entrances of most, if not all Elementary Schools and Education Campuses. They are instructed to check all bags.

      • I have been to a lot of schools in DC for work and have never seen a metal detector at an elementary school. My daughter went to Drew in Ward 7 and didn’t go through a metal detector. All 3 of my kids currently go to JO Wilson in Ward 6 and they don’t have a metal detector. And none of my kids have had a bag search. Moten is one of the few I have not been to so maybe its different.

        • I was a DCPS central office employee a few years ago and there were detectors in many of the Ward 7 and 8 schools. (To be clear, I’m not saying that the detectors are only in Ward 7 and 8. The program I worked for was only in ward 7 and 8 so those are the schools that I visited) this was almost 5 years ago and may have changed. I am familiar with Drew and Wilson and know that they to not have them.

      • That sounds like an Orwellian nightmare. What next? ultrasound checks to make sure fetuses aren’t armed?

    • 3 year olds are not stealthy. Just today my 3 year old told every single person we passed that he had a new toy school bus in his back pack. The kid was probably talking loudly about having a gun and the guard did their job by checking. I don’t think any school in DC does routine backpack checks. Or at least none of the ones I’ve sent mine to, including schools EOTR and in Ward 6.

    • glad they did a backpack search or the headline for this story could read tragically differnt

  • Jesus Christ.

  • Jesus. That is sad and awful on so many levels.

  • Christ. I really, really want to think that this kid stands a chance, but I’m having a really tough time doing so.

  • That One Guy

    In all seriousness, I hope the cycle of the status quo is broken. I’d like to hear stories of parents doing amazing jobs of raising kids rather this.

    • I had a trick or treater that offered me some of his candy after he received his. I let him know that it was ok and I don’t want to take any of his candy. He replied, “I just want to share my candy so everybody has some.” He got extra candy.
      +1 to his parents

  • The incident was handled by the school, danger was averted, and the police are dealing with it. I don’t see any reason why this needed to be reported to the public.

    • Ally

      Confusing statement. Seems quite newsworthy to me.

    • They wanted to report the arrest and removing a gun off the street. Quick win for MPD

    • Because the very fact that tiny children are accessing and carrying loaded guns – whether purchased legally or not – is a pretty newsworthy thing.

    • I can’t rationally comprehend the thought process that leads one to the conclusion you reached above. I mean, we don’t want to embarrass the poor dad – is that it? For all we know the kiddo took the gun without his permission and he’s now being unfairly pillared by social media?

    • DCPS has to be open and transparent about anything effecting school kids. If it came out that a school aged child brought a gun into a school and it wasn’t made public heads would roll. Look at how much trouble they got in over lead testing results and not reporting it to the public last year. And that was over non-actionable lead levels. This is a gun.

      MPD has been making all the illegal gun confiscations and arrests public.

    • There is a long history of reporting on close calls for good reason. There is a lot to learn from a close call, they can be life changing events on the personal and result in policy changes for the public.
      Thanks to the close call with the shoe bomber we all have to take off our shoes when we fly… and thanks to the underwear bomber you can’t fly with underwear (jokes). Bad examples I know but you get the idea.
      Having made it public, schools can turn this to a teachable moment and send home notices with some stats on guns and children and resources/tips for securing their firearms. Ideally this would prevent a future incident in which we don’t yet know if anyone will be hurt.

    • Yeah, we need less government transparency, especially related to children and public safety.

    • What? You must not have any children.

  • We have enough people in jail for non-violent offenses. No one was hurt here. People could have been hurt, but no one was actually hurt. I find it incredibly cruel to say “cool” when kids go without their parents and no one was even hurt.

    This dad made a serious mistake in letting the kid have access to the weapon, and certainly that could have been a deadly mistake. We are fortunate no one was hurt.

    But this dad may very well go to jail for up to 5 years for just the carrying without a license charge. Up to 1 year for the unregistered ammunition charge. And this is all because he lives in a dangerous neighborhood and wanted to protect himself and his son, and his local government (who cannot protect his neighborhood) has banned something that wouldn’t get him a day in jail across the border in Virginia.

    • Given the available information, I can, without a shroud of doubt, assume that this kid is far better off without his dad than he is under his custody.

      • I’ll second that. And, every other kid at this school is in a better place with this father in jail.

      • That’s not a lot to go on.

      • Yeah, his dad did something really stupid in having a gun where a kid could access it.
        That doesn’t mean he’s a horrible father.
        Most parents I know do incredibly stupid things that endanger their children all the time – really – few would pass such a non-doing-stupid-endangering-things-sometimes.
        Not excusing the father’s actions in any way – but I find your statement that the kid would be better off without his father abhorrent. Not that it might not be true – be we hardly know enough about the father from this one incident to say that.

        • It kind of DOES mean he’s a horrible father.
          Any parent who could keep a loaded firearm in a home with a small child has no concept of his responsibility, and is therefore completely unfit.

          • I was raised in the South. Loaded firearms were everywhere. You were just taught not to touch them.

          • Ahh the South. Glad you were taught but I imagine even when ‘taught’ a 7 year olds’ curiosity could get the best of him/her. Irresponsible and if that means the entire South then so be it!

          • My gun-loving family members in the South all have gun safes.
            Plus, most preschoolers are barely out of diapers. “Teaching” doesn’t really mean the same thing to preschoolers as it does to kids 6+.

        • He didn’t just endanger his child, he put an entire school full of children, teachers, administrators… in danger.

        • check out dad’s long criminal history, including violent assaults and multiple felonies.

        • It absolutely means that he’s a horrible father.

      • Where did you grow up? Do you know how many kids in the suburbs okay with their parents’ guns? Just because this kid snuck a gun out of the house doesn’t mean that his dad is incapable of raising him. That’s the most illogical statement I’ve read online in some time.

        • That read “play with” not “okay with”

        • And those too, are horrible parents. The difference, though, is that the father is a convicted felon with a long criminal history. Oh, that and the whole illegal gun thing, you know?

        • I grew up in farm country. I assure you, none of us “played” with guns, any more than we “played” with a baler or a combine. Are you for real??

    • Do you know this dad? Do you know what neighborhood he lives in? Do you know why he had an unregistered gun? Do you live in a high crime neighborhood in Ward 7 or 8? Or are you making very large assumptions to validate your political opinions about gun control and/ or the prison system?

      Separating families is truly tragic. Yes. And we should all be sympathetic to this child’s situation and grief. But speaking for someone else and using their tragedy to make your privileged political statement is pretty bad.

      • or you could look up his criminal history, realize he had multiple violent felonies on his record and likes to beat up the women in his life, and come to the very reasonable conclusion that this was not a good guy.

        • I was responding to John who implied that this is some travesty of the prison system that is ripping this young child from his fathers hands.

          “But this dad may very well go to jail for up to 5 years for just the carrying without a license charge. Up to 1 year for the unregistered ammunition charge. And this is all because he lives in a dangerous neighborhood and wanted to protect himself and his son, and his local government (who cannot protect his neighborhood) has banned something that wouldn’t get him a day in jail across the border in Virginia.”

    • If he wanted to protect his son, he would not be keeping a firearm in a place where a 3 to 5 year old child has access to it. There are far too many news stories about children finding loaded guns in their homes that were not properly stored and secured, and accidentally shooting themselves, their sibling, their friend, their parent, etc. It absolutely should be a punishable offence if you are so careless with your gun that your child is able to find it and bring it to school. Yes we are LUCKY that no one was hurt – including my child who is in PreK3 at a DC public school. That doesn’t mean the parent shouldn’t be punished.

    • “And this is all because he lives in a dangerous neighborhood and wanted to protect himself and his son,”
      First, that’s a pretty big assumption – that the father had the gun for protection and not for criminal purposes. No, I don’t know either way – but neither do you.
      Moreover, as others have said, protecting his kid comes in all shapes and sizes, including making sure a PRESCHOOLER doesn’t have access to a loaded firearm. FFS.

      • And if he’s just a good dad looking to protect his family, what wasn’t the weapon registered? Why wasn’t it locked in a gun safe? WHY WAS IT LOADED??
        There are plenty of good parents who own guns. Those guns don’t end up in kids’ backpacks, loaded, at school.

    • You’re making other Second Amendment wingnuts look bad.

    • Dad is easy enough to look up in the DC court system – multiple arrests and convictions for felonies (so he’s a felon with a gun – another crime), long history of domestic violence, assaults, etc.

      I’m going to agree with posters saying the kid is better of without him (and given the domestic violence, so is the kids mother) and that jail is justified.

    • “And this is all because he lives in a dangerous neighborhood and wanted to protect himself and his son,”
      That’s a humongous assumption. It’s very possible that he makes his neighborhood dangerous, and he wants to commit crimes and hurt people. I’m not willing to assume that he has noble motivations for owning a gun. If everyone who owned a gun had noble motivations we wouldn’t have a gun violence problem in DC.

    • Gun-related crime IS violent crime. Period. Even if no one gets shot.

      Allowing your 3-year-old access to a firearm of any kind is a violent act. ESPECIALLY this case–gun was LOADED and SEMI-AUTOMATIC.

      Irresponsible gun owners (especially those who allow their children to carry guns into a school) should 100% be jailed for a period longer than “slap-on-the-wrist ”

      This irresponsible gun owner deserves to serve time in jail for endangering the lives of hundreds of children.

      For the record, I am not a “take your guns away” person. Gun control isn’t my issue. But I have no problem drawing the line at allowing (or simply causing) your 3-year-old to carry your gun to his/her school.

    • He should go to jail, it should be illegal to leave a gun where a child can access it. If you have a gun in your home and you have children get a gun safe! This was a loaded weapon!

  • I don’t need to know this father to know that his illegal gun in the hands of a child, at a school, is unacceptable. What’s really tragic is putting an entire school full of children and their families in danger b/c of the illegal, reckless an careless actions of one irresponsible father.

  • Way to violate this kid’s 2nd amendment rights – and at a school no less. How do you expect him to stand up to Timmy when he’s not sharing? Thanks Obama!


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