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Park Forest
Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Child Found in Possession of a Handgun

Police recovered this semiautomatic handgun from a child in Central Park Thursday.
Police recovered this semiautomatic handgun from a child in Central Park Thursday. (Photo: PFPD)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Park Forest police said that a 14-year-old child was found to be in possession of a handgun. The youth was petitioned to juvenile court on a charge of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon after brandishing the weapon in a park, according to police.

In a statement released Friday, police said that on Thursday, April 21, 2022, Park Forest Officers responded to Central Park at about 6:30 PM. The vast park area is literally located in the middle of town, formally at 420 Lakewood Boulevard, and includes ball fields, pavilions, walking paths, as well as the Central Park Wetlands, an ecological and tourist draw for the Village.

Police said someone observed the boy brandish a handgun. When officers arrived, they were directed to a 14-year-old boy who they stopped without incident. Officers recovered a loaded semiautomatic handgun with an extended ammunition magazine in the child’s waistband.

The boy was ultimately petitioned to juvenile court for multiple counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, police said in the statement. He was then transported to the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, according to police.

Police reflected on this incident in the statement, relating it to another just last month also involving a child with a handgun.

“At the end of March, we posted about a similar incident that involved another 14-year-old boy with a handgun. At the time, we encouraged adults to ensure their firearms were secure from children,” police said. “While it is not known how this boy obtained the firearm, we would like to reiterate our previous message. We’d also encourage parents to have a conversation with their children about how serious firearms are and the possible consequences associated with them.”

Another Child with a Handgun

This handgun was recovered from another child in late March.
This handgun was recovered from another child in late March. (Photo: PFPD)

The former incident was published on March 28, where, according to police, a different 14-year-old boy was petitioned to juvenile court on a charge of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon after a handgun was located in his waistband.

On March 23, 2022, at about 4:30 pm, Park Forest Police responded to the 400 block of Indianwood Blvd. after a citizen observed a person who brandished a handgun and then place it in their waistband.

Responding officers stopped a 14-year-old boy that was walking nearby and matched the provided description. They found a loaded semiautomatic handgun with an extended magazine in the waistband of this child.

This boy was ultimately petitioned to juvenile court on a charge of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and was transported to the River Valley Juvenile Detention Center.

In this case, police said, “While it is unknown how the boy obtained the handgun, we urge parents to make sure their firearms are properly stored and secure from children. We are grateful no one was hurt during this incident and we thank the observant citizen who called 911.”

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