Over Reaction, Overwhelming Force: A Gun Story
A Kitchener, Ontario man was arrested at his child’s school, dragged to a police station in handcuffs, and strip-searched — all over a drawing of a gun his four-year-old daughter made in class.
Oh, and the gun? From the drawing? It was a toy.
School officials and local authorities say they stand by their decision to investigate 26-year-old Jessie Sansone over concerns that his children may have access to a lethal weapon. ”We did what we were supposed to do,” said superintendent Gregg Bereznick.
Stephanie Squires, Sansone’s wife, was also brought in for questioning. And three of his four children were interviewed by Family and Children’s Services.
Police said they were certain an accessible weapon posed a threat to the children after the daughter provided a “jaw-droppingly” accurate description of a semi-automatic gun.
But additional interviews revealed the truth: The gun was a toy.
A searching of Sansone’s home turned up a “partly transparent, plastic gun” capable of shooting pellets that resemble “tiny purple candy gum balls.” There were no pellets in the home, and the gun belonged to Squires’ brother, who left it behind after his stay with the family ended.
Sansone may have triggered an overreaction from police because of his criminal past.
Now a life counsellor at a Sobriety Center, Sanson was once convicted of assault and attempted burglary. He noted that none of his priors involved firearms.
The principal of Forest Hill Public School phoned Sansone to apologize, but was told it was too little too late. Sansone says his family and his name have been “tarnished,” and his children will not be returning to that school. [therecord.]
Remember kids, practice safe gun handling at all times when cleaning or drawing for practice... oh, maybe that's not the 'drawing' that we're talking about?
Oh, and because it might be relevant, he was Canadian.