Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer filed misdemeanor charges Thursday against a man who allegedly allowed a 9-year-old boy to take a loaded gun to his elementary school in Tarzana.
Prosecutors accused 41-year-old Aaron Martin of keeping guns within the reach of a child, including a loaded Ruger 357 magnum revolver in a container under his bedstand and a loaded Ruger .45 caliber semi-automatic covered by a t- shirt on his nightstand.
School officials said the boy was seen on March 4 putting a Glock .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun, with 11 rounds of ammunition, in a rain gutter near a restroom at Nestle Elementary School. The boy said he took the gun from underneath a dog bed to show to his classmates.
The Glock that the child allegedly took to the school was registered to another person, and not to Martin. The two Ruger weapons were registered to Martin.
The boy, his mother and younger sister have been living with Martin at his Canoga Park home for the past three months, prosecutors said.
The City Attorney’s Office charged Martin with keeping a firearm within reach of a child, allowing a child to bring a firearm off-premises, allowing the child to be exposed to harm and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Martin faces up to a year in jail and $5,000 in fines on each of the four counts. City prosecutors are also trying to bar him from possessing any weapons. An arraignment is set for March 30.
The District Attorney’s office has charged the child’s mother, Santrice Dotson, with felony child endangerment. The woman was not the registered owner of the Glock, according to City Attorney’s Office spokesman Frank Mateljan, who was not immediately able to release the identity of the owner.
Feuer said guns kill or injure about 20,000 children and teens in the U.S. annually.
“Unsecured guns in the home where children are present is a tragedy waiting to happen,” he said. “Half of all unintentional shooting deaths involving children occur at home.”
— City News Service