In what apparently is becoming a bit of a trend for Law Enforcement Officers, an unnamed North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation agent left her gun inside the public bathroom of a restaurant. (As the name implies, the SBI is a state based version of the FBI, although not all states use that name.) After being misplaced by the unnamed agent, it was found by a five year old girl, who subsequently used the bathroom.
An earlier post on CopBlock.org by detailed how Capitol police in Washington DC had been ordered to undergo additional training after three separate incidents in which they left firearms in public bathrooms between January and April of this year.
Fortunately for the child and likely for the other people in the Mexicasa Restaurant & Grill in Harrisburg as well, her parents had already begun teaching her gun safety. So she knew not to mess with the gun and promptly told her parents about it. They in turn reported it to restaurant staff. Officers from the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office were there investigating the incident when the gun’s owner returned looking for it.
According to WNCN.com:
[The father] said his family was eating at the Mexicasa Restaurant & Grill in Harrisburg Saturday night when the little girl went into the restroom. She came back out and told her mom that there was a gun in the restroom stall.
The mother saw the gun and the family notified the restaurant staff. The staff then got the gun and called the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the sheriff’s office, deputies arrived on scene a few minutes later and a female agent had already come back to the restaurant to get her firearm. Officials believe the agent got to her vehicle, noticed the missing firearm and came back inside.
According to a spokesperson from the SBI, the agency is aware of the incident and is conducting an internal investigation.
One official told WBTV the young girl was “clearly trained well” to tell her parents as soon as she saw the firearm.
Jennifer Sarris always goes with her 5-year-old daughter when she goes to the bathroom, just in case she needs something.
“I just knew by the panic in her voice, something was wrong,” Jennifer Sarris said.
The mother told WBTV her family openly talks with their three children about gun safety.
“We make them understand, bad things can happen when you play with it like a toy, because it’s not a toy,” Jennifer Sarris said.
Fortunately for the SBI agent, she had her shiny badge with her, which rendered her impervious to the sort of accountability mere mortals are subjected to:
The 5-year-old’s father, Jody said after the waiter removed the gun, a woman returned for the gun.
“I noticed she walked straight in the bathroom with a look on her face, like a panic look, and it was even more so when she walked out realizing it was gone,” Jody Sarris recalled.
Jody Sarris said the woman showed a badge and walked out with the firearm.
An SBI spokesperson assured everyone that the agency has some of her friends “investigating” her and that they will be deciding which wrist to slap in the very near future. However, the father of the grade-schooler, who very easily could have payed dearly for the agent’s careless mistake, wasn’t very satisfied with the fact that she was able to just retrieve the gun and walk out without being arrested like a typical person would or even so much as being given a stern talking to, apparently.
“I know we’re all human, we all make mistakes. That’s a pretty big mistake for my 5-year-old little girl to find a gun in the bathroom,” Jody Sarris said.
The SBI spokesperson could not say if the agent was on leave, or if the gun was loaded.
All are questions the Sarris family wants answered.
“To me it is a big deal, because it could have took my child’s life, it could have took someone else’s life if her or someone else had found it and been curious,” Jennifer Sarris said.
Thankfully, there was a five-year-old there to ensure nobody got hurt as a result of this agent’s reckless disregard for firearm safety. If one of those Capitol Police had come in next instead, who knows what might have happened or how many people could have potentially been shot.