Mom Arrested After 7-Year-Old Unwittingly Took Guns to Rockaways School

By Aidan Gardiner and Nikhita Venugopal  on January 18, 2013 9:37am  | Updated on January 18, 2013 6:41pm

 A 7-year-old is believed to have brought two guns to a Queens elementary school Thursday Jan. 17, 2013, handing an orange flare gun to another student, and keeping a .22-caliber handgun in his own backpack, cops said.
A 7-year-old is believed to have brought two guns to a Queens elementary school Thursday Jan. 17, 2013, handing an orange flare gun to another student, and keeping a .22-caliber handgun in his own backpack, cops said.
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NYPD

WAVECREST — The mother of a 7-year-old boy who brought a handgun to his Queens elementary school has been arrested, police said Friday.

Deborah Farley, 53, was taken into custody after her second-grader carried a .22-caliber gun, an orange flare gun and a magazine of 10 rounds of ammunition along with an additional 14 rounds in his backpack into Wave Preparatory School at 535 Briar Place, near Collier Avenue, Thursday morning, according to the NYPD and the Department of Education.

Farley told police she had used her son's Batman backpack to carry the handgun, flare gun and ammunition while walking around Queens Wednesday night, and then she forgot to take out the weapons the following morning, police said.

Her son then unwittingly took the guns and ammunition to school the next day, police said in a statement.

Farley quickly realized what had happened and rushed to pick her son up at school, using the invented excuse that he had a dental appointment, police said.

After she made a cursory search of her son's backpack, she wasn't able to find the handgun, police said. She questioned her son, who told her he had given the "gun" to his friend, referring to the flare gun, not the handgun, officials said.

Farley then told the school's principal that there was a weapon on the loose, prompting a lockdown of the building, police said.

Authorities found the unloaded Orion flare gun in another boy's backpack and also found the Phoenix Arms .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol and the ammunition in Farley's son's backpack, police said.

No one was hurt, officials said.

Farley initially told authorities that her 9-year-old son had seen his younger brother take the gun to school, but she later told police that she was the one who put the guns in the backpack, police said.

The mother also told police she purchased the .22 in June or July because there "were people hanging around in the stairwell" when she came home, the Queens District Attorney's office said in a statement.

She has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon on school grounds, reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child, police and prosecutors said.

She was also charged with unlawful possession of a weapon because she did not have proper documents for the gun, police said.

Seven plastic bags of marijuana were also recovered in the search of her Cornega Avenue home, and Farley was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, officials said.

The Administration for Children's Services took custody of Farley's two young sons, police said.

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