(TX) Moms, kids find officer's loaded gun in South Austin park


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Drizzt
July 8, 2008, 08:24 PM
Moms, kids find officer's loaded gun in South Austin park
Police reviewing the incident, officials say.
By Tony Plohetski

AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A group of mothers and kindergarten students at a South Austin park found the loaded gun of an Austin police officer who did not know for hours that his weapon was missing, officials said today.

Austin police Lt. Donald Baker said supervisors are reviewing how Officer Daniel Eveleth's Glock handgun might have fallen from his holster while he was at Slaughter Creek Metropolitan Park training a police dog at about 5 a.m. Monday.

Officials said they did not immediately know whether one of the children or a parent discovered the gun.

Officers responded to the park after one of the mothers called 911 and learned that the gun was registered to Eveleth, who has been an officer for about 11 years.

They returned the weapon to Eveleth's home and told him where it had been found, Baker said.

"He had no idea he was missing the weapon from his holster," Baker said. "It doesn't look like it was done in negligence."
Elizabeth Phillips, a mother who was at the park, said she arrived soon after officers showed up.

She said the gun appeared to have been on a slide, that officers were still standing around it and that about a dozen children were nearby.

"I was completely shocked," she said.

http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/local/07/09//0709gun.html

If it wasn't negligent, was it deliberate that he left it there?

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nwilliams
July 8, 2008, 08:28 PM
"He had no idea he was missing the weapon from his holster," Baker said. "It doesn't look like it was done in negligence."

No, I think there is another word that best describes it:rolleyes:

Realbigo
July 8, 2008, 08:29 PM
maybe the dog wasn't the only thing that should have been on a leash. I always dummycord my Handgun

armoredman
July 8, 2008, 08:40 PM
New retention holster might be a good choice, if they let him keep his job.

Claude Clay
July 8, 2008, 08:46 PM
now if that was a civilian's gun..............

free ride in a police car
free coffee at the station for a few hours
perhaps a free phone call

him going home without his permit

lets find out how it goes down when it is one of their own.

i am not being cynical. it has happened 3 times in less than a year here in Corrupticut and thats how it goes.

RonE
July 8, 2008, 08:46 PM
Yes, we need them, but noone has ever accused the police of being overly bright. Too bad it happened, if he stays on the job, he won't live this down for a long long time.

John G
July 8, 2008, 09:04 PM
They found it on the slide?

Old Grump
July 8, 2008, 09:07 PM
In the middle of a pistol match, a minor one, I think it was called the All Army Championship's at some little place In Georgia. Colonel Moore managed to track it down and return it to me, he wasn't pleased. Dumb things happen to everybody once, Dumb things happen to dumb people all the time. We don't know this guys record or what he will do next. Whatever it is I bet he's more careful doing it.

ilbob
July 8, 2008, 09:26 PM
I can't even fathom that you could lose a holstered gun, go home, and not notice eventually. Very fishy story.

I also find the training dog at 5:00 am in the park story a bit fishy. Might be interesting to see if he was on the clock or not.

Standing Wolf
July 8, 2008, 09:38 PM
Only the police and military should be allowed to have guns.

TexasSkyhawk
July 8, 2008, 09:50 PM
I also find the training dog at 5:00 am in the park story a bit fishy. Might be interesting to see if he was on the clock or not.

Not really.

It's hotter than hell right now in Texas. Best time to work your (working) dog is in the early morning hours when it is the coolest.

In addition, most K9 units work the swing or night shift since that's when most burglaries, intruders and suspicious activities occur. Playgrounds are a very popular place to work your dogs for the the agility opportunities that are ready-made, as well as the myriad of scents that abound.

I don't doubt the "working his dog" story a bit. I can also see how when you're rough and tumbling with your dog, you might lose your gun.

What I can't see is how you could go eleven hours not knowing it was no longer in your holster.

Jeff

TAB
July 8, 2008, 09:53 PM
how do you lose a gun?

moooose102
July 8, 2008, 10:14 PM
i agree, i know where my gun is all the time it is on me. whether it is on my hip, or in my pants pocket. they simply either weigh to much, or are uncomfortable enough that i feel it every time my body moves. maybe that is something said FOR ccw'ing pistols instead of carrying it on the outside of your pantsin a HARD holster. but you still think he would have noticed the weight not being there.

KiltedClaymore
July 8, 2008, 10:50 PM
if it wasnt at a park full of kids id laugh at this officer. they used to take guys like him out back and beat them with a hose...

Drizzt
July 8, 2008, 11:01 PM
Is it possible he was using his own weapon to work on training his dog to find firearms?

jrfoxx
July 8, 2008, 11:13 PM
maybe that is something said FOR ccw'ing pistols instead of carrying it on the outside of your pantsin a HARD holster.
I carry both open and concealed with OWB holsters exclusively, and I guarantee I would notice if there was no gun in it, even with my light S&W m637 Airweight. I cant imagine a Glock is so light as to not make a noticeable difference in weight from an empty holster, regardless of the construction of the holster.This guy just plain screwed up, and was not even CLOSE to paying attention at all. I can see the gun falling out when working with a dog, but there is just NO excuse for not noticing it almost immediately, let alone for 11 hours.

Plus, unless the cop had been playing on the slide, the fact that thats where it was found tells me it didnt fall out, but that he took it out and set it there, and ended up leaving it.IMHO, that makes it even worse, as it it didnt fall out unexpectedly, but was intentionally removed, then forgotten. taking a loaded gun out of its holster, in a public park, and allowing it out of your control for even a minute, is just plain stupid and negligent, IMHO.

I cant cant come up with ANY valid excuse for what happened. Luckily, no one was hurt,(including the cop who may have ended up at a call where he needed the gun he no longer had) and some meth head didnt get a free gun to use to rob and possibly kill someone to support his habit.I really thin kthis guy needs a LONG unpaid vacation from police work, at the minimum.

justin 561
July 8, 2008, 11:18 PM
I don't know how he couldn't see his pistol was missing, every time I see a police officer getting into a car he adjusts his weapon to sit down properly. Neg-li-gence.

Eightball
July 8, 2008, 11:19 PM
He should be regulated to walking parking meters or something else that doesn't require a gun. Then he won't think of it as something he can have, and people can't, because obviously, he can't handle it :rolleyes:

TAB
July 8, 2008, 11:29 PM
He should be regulated to walking parking meters or something else that doesn't require a gun. Then he won't think of it as something he can have, and people can't, because obviously, he can't handle it



he should be fired and charged( assuming you or I would be)

yeti
July 9, 2008, 12:27 AM
Just another Robert Blake wanna be.:what:

ilbob
July 9, 2008, 09:16 AM
I also find the training dog at 5:00 am in the park story a bit fishy. Might be interesting to see if he was on the clock or not.
Not really.

It's hotter than hell right now in Texas. Best time to work your (working) dog is in the early morning hours when it is the coolest.

In addition, most K9 units work the swing or night shift since that's when most burglaries, intruders and suspicious activities occur. Playgrounds are a very popular place to work your dogs for the the agility opportunities that are ready-made, as well as the myriad of scents that abound.

I don't doubt the "working his dog" story a bit. I can also see how when you're rough and tumbling with your dog, you might lose your gun.

What I can't see is how you could go eleven hours not knowing it was no longer in your holster.I don't doubt your logic is indeed possible. I just wonder if he really was on the clock or not. I am thinking if he lost his gun somewhere, somehow, this might be the most plausible story he could come up with to explain it.

ClickClickD'oh
July 9, 2008, 09:44 AM
he should be fired and charged( assuming you or I would be)Charge him with what? I just want to see if the people calling from prosecution even know what to prosecute him with.

Sounds like the guys in Austin need to re-evaluate their retention equipment.

Catherine
July 9, 2008, 09:57 AM
Quote:

Only the police and military should be allowed to have guns.

~~~~~

Ha ha... in before they close this one!

Catherine

FieroCDSP
July 9, 2008, 09:59 AM
Figure a Glock Fo-tay (G22) weighing in at 22.92 oz empty, plus 15 rounds of 165gr ammo @ (165+, call it 110gr case+, 6gr powder=6/10 pound), comes out to be 32.52 oz, or 2.03 pounds.

This would likely be the lightest full-size duty piece carried. You don't lose a two pound chunk of plastic and metal off your belt and not notice unless you're negligent. Heck, I notice a serious difference between my compact 9mm carry piece being on my belt or not. There should be an extensive investigation as to this officer's competency in his day to day goings.

LAK
July 9, 2008, 10:00 AM
As soon as I read the subject line I was reminded of the similar "child shoots self with granny's pursed handgun in Sam's" Thread.

Yep; these mishaps and oversights happen to the "highly trained" as well. Although happily in this case a small child did not pick it up and shoot themselves. And like the granny, no need to hang this guy either - the embarrassment has been sufficient I am sure.

FieroCDSP
July 9, 2008, 10:02 AM
Charge him with what? I just want to see if the people calling from prosecution even know what to prosecute him with

Public endangerment would be a good start, though I'm not sure of what exact laws would cover this. Abuse of city property (if it's an issued gun).
I have no doubt that if this were Joe Taxpayer, they'd throw the book at him and see what sticks.

DEDON45
July 9, 2008, 10:03 AM
Well, maybe like the anti's say... it got a mind of its' own and decided to jump out of the holster, and lie in wait for some unsuspecting victim... I mean, these things do have a mind of their own, according to the Brady crew, etc.

:evil:

ilbob
July 9, 2008, 10:18 AM
I don't see them charging him with anything. These kind of incidents almost never result in any substantial punishment. My guess is he might get a few unpaid days off at worst.

Keep in mind cops have lost FA weapons and had little or no punishment for it.

waterhouse
July 9, 2008, 10:54 AM
This would likely be the lightest full-size duty piece carried. You don't lose a two pound chunk of plastic and metal off your belt and not notice unless you're negligent.

Based solely on the weight issue, I might disagree. During the day my belt weighed about 15 pounds, at night closer to 18. I know guys that lost flashlights and steel batons while running after folks in the dark (granted, those weigh closer to 1.5 pounds) and didn't notice until several hours later when someone pointed it out back that the station. There is a lot of weight hanging off your hips, and I doubt most folks would notice 2 pounds of it disappearing. Based on the fact that it happened to be the most important 2 pounds on the belt, carried in the position on the belt where it is both easily seen and easy to touch with the strong hand, he probably should have noticed.

I don't see them charging him with anything.

This doesn't bother me one bit, as long as the same would be applied to anyone else. If I lost my gun in the park, I'd like the cops to return it without charging me with anything as well.

Franky, giving what it cost the taxpayers to train this guy, I'd hope they put a letter of reprimand in his file and get him back to work.

scrat
July 9, 2008, 10:56 AM
What was the line that comedian used.

Whats your sign

XDKingslayer
July 9, 2008, 11:12 AM
No, I think there is another word that best describes it

Cranial-Rectal Inversion?

Defensory
July 9, 2008, 04:07 PM
I'd call it GROSS negligence.

I just can't fathom an officer not realizing he doesn't have his weapon for about FOUR HOURS. :rolleyes: :scrutiny:

Written disciplinary action is definitely in order. If he has an otherwise spotless record with the department, I'd give him a two week suspension WITHOUT pay, and a written reprimand in his permanent file.

If his record is already a little "spotty", I'd fire him.

FLA2760
July 9, 2008, 05:12 PM
Can you say "Reno 911"

J Star
July 9, 2008, 05:30 PM
I can't even carry a gun yet, but I have a nice Beretta utility knife on my belt at all times. (Too much MacGyver as a kid? I dunno. Comes in handy quite often, though.) I've taken it out of the pouch, done something with it, and left it sitting on a table. It takes me about a minute to start feeling something is not quite right, and maybe another 30 seconds to grab all my pockets to check to see what it is - Phone? Check. Wallet? Check. Keys? Check. Knife? Knife? Hmm, where did I leave that?

My knife weighs - I'm guessing here - less than a pound. (Lot's of Swiss Army-ness, and an LED flashlight too! I can open wine bottles in the dark!) If it takes me less than 2 minutes to figure out I lost a knife, how can it take some guy hours to not notice his 2 pound + pistol is missing from the holster?

zxcvbob
July 9, 2008, 05:38 PM
As soon as I read the subject line I was reminded of the similar "child shoots self with granny's pursed handgun in Sam's" Thread.

Yep; these mishaps and oversights happen to the "highly trained" as well. Although happily in this case a small child did not pick it up and shoot themselves. And like the granny, no need to hang this guy either - the embarrassment has been sufficient I am sure.

Granny got off without any charges being filed because she is judge. What do you think would happen if that had been one of us instead of someone with political connections?

In the cop's case, no harm no foul. If someone had been hurt...

CountGlockula
July 9, 2008, 05:45 PM
One word: Laynard.

waterhouse
July 9, 2008, 07:57 PM
Phone? Check. Wallet? Check. Keys? Check. Knife?

First, you admit that you used the knife and left it on the table. Your brain knew that you used the knife, and you noticed something was wrong, and it was that you put your knife down.

I don't think that is a fair comparison if the officer's retention holster failed. He would have no reason to think his gun wasn't in his holster if he didn't take it out.

Second, add to that list of yours: 1 handgun, 4 loaded magazines, OC spray, flashlight, (possibly) second flashlight, collapsible steel baton, 2 pair handcuffs, radio, and probably a few other things I am forgetting. (Some Austin cops now have yellow taser looking guns on their belts also . . . I never carried one, but I bet it weighs a decent amount too.)

It is easier than you think to be missing one of those items and not notice.

Once again, I'm not excusing the fact that he lost his gun and didn't notice, I just don't think people playing the "how could you not notice 2 pounds missing" card have a very good understanding of how much a duty belt weighs.

lamazza
July 9, 2008, 08:21 PM
"It doesn't look like it was done in negligence."
? No, It was done with intent then?

jrfoxx
July 9, 2008, 08:53 PM
Once again, I'm not excusing the fact that he lost his gun and didn't notice, I just don't think people playing the "how could you not notice 2 pounds missing" card have a very good understanding of how much a duty belt weighs.


While that may very well be true, and a valid point, the fact they say the gun was found on a slide, seems to make the idea that the gun just fell out, a little odd. If it fell out onto a hard, likely metal object like a slide, I'd think there'd be no way not to hear it hit. Also, how would it fall out of the holster onto the slide, and not slide off?

As I said earlier, it sounds a lot more like he took it out of the holster while working with the dog so it wouldn't fall out, intentionally set it on the slide, then forget to pick it up afterward. Maybe the slide thing isn't true, but as it stands, thats the claim, so that's what we have to go on. So, assuming that is accurate, the whole "it fell out, and the slight difference in weight on the heavy duty belt" theory kinda goes out the window REAL fast, and points to him straight out, knowingly removing the gun, setting it down, and leaving it. That is clearly very negligent, and cant really be called and "accident", like the gun falling out into the grass quietly. If this is the case, there is really no excusing it, IMHO. This isn't a set of car keys or your glasses getting left in a park for kids or a criminal to find (druggies seem to have a fondness for doing their buying, selling, and doping in parks, from what I've seen first hand), it's a freakin' loaded handgun. VERY bad juju to leave lying around in a place like that.

But, who knows, as with most things reported in the news that aren't super-high profile, there will likely be no follow up, so we will likely never know for sure. I'm certainly leaning toward my scenario above WAY more than it falling out hough, based on the facts given in the story.

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