WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) - There was a controversial arrest in Waterbury on Wednesday, after police arrested a 7-year-old who brought a bb gun onto a school bus.
"A seven-year-old brought a pellet gun to school, oh my God!" said one woman.
"It's just a sad commentary on what is going on these days," said Donna Cameron, Waterbury.
It happened on the way to school. Police say a 7-year-old pulled out a pellet gun and started showing it to his friends on the bus. The bus driver noticed a commotion in the back of the bus and went to investigate.
He found a 7-year-old holding a realistic looking pellet gun. He took the gun and police were called and the kid was arrested.
It happened on the way to school.
"I'm surprised in someways but not in other ways. I was just kind of hoping that 7-year-olds would be a little more innocent than that, or maybe he was just being innocent and thinking that this is cool," said Cameron.
It's important to point out that the pellet gun never got into the school. It was seized by the school bus driver. It was unloaded but police say it was an exact replica of a real hand gun, and that is a big problem because it is hard to tell the difference by police, and they say that is one of the reasons the 7-year-old was arrested.
"Our first option is not to arrest in a case like this, but certainly in light of the recent tragedy in Newtown, and the alarm that it causes, the officer made that decision," Deputy Chief Chris Corbett, Waterbury police.
Police say that the 7-year-old was arrested at this school and then released into custody to his parents. The boy was never transported in handcuffs or locked up. It was a hard decision for police, arresting a 7-year-old, but they want to make sure there are not bigger issues at play.
"The 7-year-old is not going to go to jail, the juvenile court has many options in diversionary programs, where they examine what is the underlying cause, why did the child do this, and how we are going to prevent this from happening again," said Corbett.
"There is no supervision in the house for a 7-year-old to get ahold of that, you know, I don't know if that was my 7-year-old, I don't know what I would do," said Madeline Metz, Waterbury.
Police say the gun belonged to an uncle, and the gun was taken from a drawer without the uncle's knowledge.
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