A father from Queens, NY was arrested Wednesday after allegedly firing a toy gun and giving it to his toddler son at a local park.
Jack Pawlowski took the realistic toy gun and his two children to Ditmars Park and fired pellets at a tree. He then handed the toy to his 3-year-old son to play with. Many parents and onlookers believed the gun to be real and were stunned at was unfolding before their eyes.
“At first I thought I was hallucinating,” Maria Smilios of Astoria said. “He pulled out this gun. The next thing, he took his son, who is 3, and showed him how to use it, and then the family took turns shooting the gun. He gave it to his daughter, who took off on the bicycle and started racing around the park with the gun pointing this way and just started pointing it at the kids.”
Another parent, Leni Calas, asked Pawlowski to leave, calling the police shortly after.
“I mean, he’s brandishing a firearm and I don’t care if that firearm is plastic,” Calas said. “That’s unacceptable.”
Police led Pawlowski out of his Queens home in handcuffs later that day, charged with endangering the welfare of a minor, resisting arrest and possession of an illegal BB gun.
“This is really a way to educate people,” declared councilman Peter Vallone Jr., “You cannot run around with a realistic looking gun. It’s against the law, and you could get arrested and actually go to jail.”
Ultimately, said Pawlowski’s wife, “I feel a little bit like a victim because someone overreacted.” Her husband remained in custody Wednesday evening and has reportedly sworn off toy guns.