Mother Charged With Sending 7-Yr. Old To School With Gun
On Friday, January 18th, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced that a Far Rockaway mother whose seven-year-old son brought a .22 caliber handgun to school on Thursday, January 17th, has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon, reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child and, following the execution of a search warrant at her residence, unlawful possession of marijuana.
“The defendant faces serious criminal charges,” said Brown. “It is disturbing to think of what could have potentially occurred in this case if authorities had not found out about the handgun when they did.
Illegal firearms pose a serious and deadly threat to public safety.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Deborah Farley, 53, of Far Rockaway.
Farley is charged with second and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, first-degree reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child, unlawful possession of a pistol and/or revolver/ammunition and unlawful possession of marijuana.
District Attorney states in the criminal complaint that Farley went to the principal’s office at P.S. 362/Wave Preparatory Elementary School on Briar Place, between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 17th, purportedly to pick up her seven-year-old son for a dental appointment.
Shortly after leaving the school, according to the complaint, Farley returned to the principal’s office and said that she believed that her son had given a gun to a friend in the school, stating that one of her sons had put the gun, which was in a purple bag, inside of her seven-year-old’s school bag at their home.
The principal allegedly searched the friend’s school bag and found an orange and black flare gun in the bag. In searching Farley’s son’s school bag police reported they recovered a 22 caliber firearm, a full magazine with ten rounds of ammunition and a clear bag containing fourteen rounds of ammunition from a purple bag inside of the school bag. The complaint also alleges that Farley made statements to police in which she said that she had purchased the pistol back in June or July for protection.
Upon returning home, she allegedly stated, there were people hanging around in the stairwell, and that before she had left her apartment the night before she had put the gun in her son’s school bag, along with the flare gun – which had been in the house and which she knew to be unloaded as her children had played with it in the past. She also allegedly stated that after she dropped her son off at the school about 7:50 a.m., she realized that she had left the guns in her son’s school bag and returned to the school, telling the principal that she needed to take her son to the dentist.
Once outside the school, she allegedly checked her son’s school bag and asked him where the gun was, to which he replied that he had given the gun to a friend.
According to police, she then went back to the school, telling the principal that there was a gun in the school.
It is alleged that Farley also admitted that the original story she had told the principal and police was fabricated, as she was afraid of going to jail for possessing the gun and the ammunition.
According to the criminal complaint police executed a search warrant at Farley’s Cornaga Avenue residence on January 17, allegedly recovering four rounds of ammunition in a cardboard box in one apartment and seven small bags of marijuana from a second apartment.
The investigation was conducted by police officers and detectives assigned to the New York City Police Department’s 101st Precinct.
The District Attorney’s office notes that a criminal complaint is merely a formal accusation and that all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.