The Woodward News

Local News

March 28, 2012

Boy arrested for having 'plastic gun' at school

A 9-year-old boy was arrested at a Woodward elementary school Monday after an airsoft pistol was found in his backpack.

Woodward Police Det. Lt. Chuck Wheeler said the boy, who is a student at Cedar Heights Elementary, was arrested on charges of "unlawfully carrying a weapon on school property."

Although it was determined that the item in the boy's possession was "a plastic gun" which shoots small, round plastic projectiles, Wheeler said, "at first glance it appears to be a real semiautomatic handgun."

The detective said the airsoft gun was found after "this young man had told another student (about the gun) and the other student told an adult teacher at the school."

However both Wheeler and Woodward Public Schools Superintendent Tim Merchant said they don't believe the gun was intentionally brought to the school.

"I think he may have just had it in his backpack from the weekend," the detective said.

"We do feel it was accidentally brought to school," Merchant said.

The superintendent said he wanted to assure parents of Cedar Heights students as well as the community as a whole that "no one was under any kind of a threat" when the gun was discovered.

"We want to assure everyone that at no point were any students or staff in danger," he said.

Following the arrest, the 9-year-old was taken to the Community Intervention Center (CIC) and "turned over to their custody,"  Wheeler said.  According to the Office of Juvenile Affairs website www.state.ok.us/~oja/cic.htm, CICs "provide a place for law enforcement officers to drop off juvenile(s) that have been arrested in order that the officer may return to their other duties" while the juvenile waits to be released to his or her "parent or other responsible person."

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