A child abuse investigation in South Pasadena led to the seizure of a cache of firearms and the arrest of a father who is a convicted felon, police said Wednesday.
Four children were taken into protective custody Tuesday after a rifle, and later other firearms and ammunition, were found at a home in the 1100 block Huntington Drive, where officers were conducting interviews as part of a child abuse investigation, according to South Pasadena Police Department Cpl. Craig Phillips.
“While meeting with the father and three small children inside the residence, officers discovered a fully loaded semi-automatic assault-type rifle in a child’s bedroom,” Phillips said.
The father, identified as 33-year-old Paul Anthony Cruz, was found to be a convicted felon and as such is prohibited from possessing firearms, according to the corporal, who said the rifle and other weapons later seized at the home were not registered to Cruz.
A social worker with the county Department of Children and Family Services took custody of the three “toddler-aged” children. An 11-year-old boy who not home at the time was later taken into protective custody, as well, Phillips said.
“After a search warrant was obtained, officers discovered an additional eight firearms, some of which were illegal in California, multiple high-capacity magazines and large quantities of ammunition,” Phillips said. “All of the items were unsecured and easily accessible to the small children living inside the home.”
Cruz was booked on suspicion of felony child endangerment, being a felon in possession of a weapon and criminal storage of a firearm, Phillips said.
He was being held at the Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles in lieu of $100,000 bail pending a court appearance in Alhambra on Thursday, according to sheriff’s inmate records.
“The child abuse allegation is now being investigated by DCFS,” Phillips said.
–City News Service
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