BATF Agent misplaces his gun?


December 2, 2009, 04:52 PM

Kids spot loaded gun in Bettendorf storm drain

A loaded handgun found in a storm drain by small children playing in an upscale Bettendorf neighborhood has been returned to its owner, Police Chief Phil Redington said Tuesday.

The children were playing in the street with a remote control motorcycle when they spotted the gun about 11 a.m. Friday in the storm drain in front of their home in the 3300 block of Marynoel Avenue, according to a police report.

Redington said the elementary-school-age children could not reach the gun and never were in danger. The revolver was retrieved by police.

The gun, a stainless steel Smith & Wesson .357 hammerless revolver, did not show up as being reported stolen in a National Crime Information Center index, according to the report.

After the neighborhood started buzzing about the discovery, nearby resident Mark Bartholomew contacted Bettendorf police Monday and said he believed the handgun belonged to him. Redington said police confirmed he was the owner of the gun by its serial number and type of specific cartridges that were loaded in it, including five rounds of Federal .38 Plus P rounds of hollow point ammunition.

Bartholomew had a gun permit, Redington said.

Bartholomew declined Tuesday to comment on how the gun may have ended up in the storm drain. Although a Quad-City Times news story a year ago described Bartholomew as a special agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, he would not confirm his employment with the agency on Tuesday, saying “my position does not allow me to talk to the press.”

According to the police report, Bartholomew told police that he recently had misplaced the gun and thought it would eventually turn up. He said he was not sure how it could have ended up in the storm drain and any scenario would be speculation only, according to the report.

Redington said there had been a rash of car burglaries in the area during the time the gun turned up missing.

The children’s father told police he had inspected the storm drain during the summer and had not noticed any gun then.

WTH? This guy is with the BATF and misplaced a gun and just thought it would turn up! I guess it did but he doesnt bother reporting it in the first place. Personally if I had a gun missing I would be freaking out. I never get so lax with any gun that I do not know where it is. I also do not leave one in my vehicle unless in the car safe and then only if necessary!

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Hold My Own
December 2, 2009, 04:56 PM
Wow.. That guys job should be gone.

I, like you my friend never get so lax as to not know where one of my guns are. I freaked out when I misplaced the pin for my CETME stock. I don't know what I'd do if I lost a gun.

December 2, 2009, 05:05 PM
Should be BATMF ;)

December 2, 2009, 05:08 PM

December 2, 2009, 05:12 PM
Wow.. That guys job should be gone.

Everyone makes mistakes.

What is odd is the location of the firearm. Heavy revolvers do not float into the storm drain.

There is only a few ways the firearm ended up in the storm drain.

One is he was on an undercover investigation and for some reason decided to ditch his firearm before it was found by either someone under investigation or perhaps LEO who were arriving (and may have blown his cover.)
Or some similar reason caused him to ditch his firearm down the nearby storm drain.

Two is it was stolen or taken by someone else, perhaps someone part of a larger investigation, and at some point for some reason they decided to discard it down the storm drain.

Three is he was for some reason down in the storm drain searching for evidence, monitoring something or someone, or placing some sort of surveillance and lost his firearm in the process.
Considering it is a revolver it may very well have been his BUG and not his primary weapon. Which allowed it to go unnoticed missing. Perhaps from an ankle or similar holster while he was in knee deep debris.

December 2, 2009, 05:14 PM
"A special agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms"

He probably got drunk, smoked something and decided to play with his gun.

How such people end up in a power positions where they need to "protect and serve" ?

December 2, 2009, 05:15 PM
How in the lords name do you misplace a gun? Put the BATFE part aside, I just don't understand how you can not know where your guns are. Even if my guns were stolen, I would find out about it pretty quickly. I am dumbfounded.

December 2, 2009, 05:23 PM
I'm betting it was stolen out of his car and the thief stashed it in the storm drain.

December 2, 2009, 05:28 PM
OK I can possibly see bending over in a curb to look at your vehicle or jumping out and having your pocket holster slip out when you open the door. When I got home or emptied my pockets though and the gun wasnt there I would certainly go looking for it. If I looked in my car and it wasnt there then I would report it.

The story or comments section kinda eluded to vehicle break ins in the area. He is BATF for gosh sake. Who leaves a gun in a car to get stolen?

Art Eatman
December 2, 2009, 05:58 PM
This sort of idle speculation isn't really a THR topic...

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