Next time you take your children down to Chuck E. Cheese, you might want to bring along a bulletproof vest or two for yourself and the kids, because you never know which other parent is carrying a gun.
On Monday, Connecticut mother Tawana Bourne was arrested after allegedly displaying a handgun and chambering a round during a dispute with another parent at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant, according to Newington’s WFSB.
Bourne became embroiled in an argument with another parent at Chuck E. Cheese, and as the conversation got heated, she pulled out a .380 semiautomatic handgun and proceeded to load a round into the gun, making it a live weapon. Both parents had children with them.
Chuck E. Cheese employees quickly called 911, and police arrived on the scene to arrest Bourne around 8 p.m. EST.
Police on the scene said Bourne did have a valid pistol permit for the state of Connecticut. But while Bourne may have owned her gun legally, she was not legally allowed to take it into public property. Police also noted that displaying a gun and chambering a round carried a clear implication of a threat.
"That's a step up from just having a handgun in your possession," Newington Police Sgt. Chris Perry told WFSB. "Obviously taking it out and chambering a round, there's non-verbal intent there. So, that's how I'm assuming the victim took it and that's how we took it."
CBS notes that following Bourne's arrest, police confiscated her gun and revoked her permit. A judge could decide if she can have them back at a later date.
Bourne was charged with breach of peace, three counts of risk of injury to a minor, threatening, and reckless endangerment. She was released on a $50,000 bond and is slated to appear in court on Feb. 19.
Chuck E. Cheese restaurants nationwide carry signs stating that firearms and other weapons are not permitted inside the premises. In a public statement, Chuck E. Cheese officials stated that they are helping police with the investigation and are committed to the safety of all patrons.
"We want to assure parents and caregivers that we take great measures to protect the experience children and families have in our stores," the Chuck E. Cheese statement said. "Many of the measures we have in place – such as our Kid Check program, employment of security guards, active security camera systems and additional safety precautions – are transparent to our guests to encourage an environment Where a Kid Can Be a Kid."
Eric Brown is an IBTimes reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.