RANCHO CUCAMONGA (CBSLA.com) — Authorities say the father of a Rancho Cucamonga elementary school student faces charges of child endangerment after one of his handguns was found in the backpack of another child.
Charles Neazer, 30, was arrested Tuesday and his four children were released into the care of child family services, San Bernardino County sheriff’s officials said.
According to sheriff’s officials, a grandmother reported finding a firearm in her 6-year-old grandson’s backpack on March 10.
“By getting into that backpack and locating this firearm, she saved a disaster,” Rancho Cucamonga Deputy Jacob Bailey said.
The boy told deputies he got the handgun from another student at Los Amigos Elementary school earlier in the day, but could not give them the other child’s full name or any other identifying information.
Deputies took possession of the firearm and forwarded the investigation to the school resource officer assigned to Los Amigos, which had just gone on spring break. Investigators believed pursuing the investigation while school was on break could potentially compromise the investigation, sheriff’s officials said.
When the campus reopened after spring break, school resource officer Deputy DelRio identified the child the boy said he got the firearm from and determined it had been acquired from the parents’ safe at their home. Authorities identified the parents as Charles Neazer and Nikki Horseman, authorities said.
A search warrant served at Neazer and Horseman’s home located the safe, which was found to have more firearms and be accessible to the children in the home. Neazer was unaware any of his children and gotten into the safe, authorities said.
KCAL 9’s Brittney Hopper spoke to some parents who were upset they weren’t given a heads up about the incident earlier.
A letter was sent to parents on March 23.
“It’s scary. You get frightened, you’re in fear of the unknown — especially the way that it came out and it came out so much later. So, I think that was the tough part and that’s where a lot of moms are just upset and angry,” said parent Selina Arellano.
The school district released a statement that read:
The school district released this statement saying, “We are very thankful that no one was injured. The safety of our students and staff is our highest priority.”
The district says both boys have been expelled from the school.
Anyone with information about the incident can contact investigators at (909) 477-2800.