Sheriff’s Detective Luke Hussey realized he was missing his Glock, and realized he had left it in a bathroom at a movie theater. The loaded gun was found by a 9-year-old boy. Det. Hussey was eventually demoted, but will not face criminal charges, Tampa police said Tuesday. That’s in spite of statements made by Laura McElroy, a Tampa Police Spokewoman, when the police had not yet determined who the owner of the gun was.
Via the Tampa Bay Times:
Hussey, 38, who has been with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for 13 years, was off duty that day. He had gone to Muvico Centro Ybor 20, according to the Sheriff’s Office, about 3 p.m. and stopped in the bathroom before the movie. He put his Glock 26, a personal weapon, on top of a toilet paper dispenser — then forgot it and left.
Minutes later, Temple Terrace 9-year-old Zane Noland entered the same stall and saw the gun. He exited the stall and told his father, Wesley Noland, 48, who had taken Zane and his older brother, Ryan, to the theater to see Man of Steel on Father’s Day.
Wesley Noland, a Marine veteran, went into the stall, disarmed the Glock and called 911.
By the time Hussey realized he’d lost his gun, Tampa police had taken it. He called Sunday and asked for it back, police said, but was told only a detective in the firearms unit could release it.
The Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that Hussey is the subject of an administrative investigation that could result in suspension or termination.
“It’s obviously a serious mistake,” said sheriff’s spokesman Larry McKinnon. “We’re glad no one was hurt, that the gun didn’t end up in the wrong hands.”
He was unsure if Hussey had prior disciplinary issues and his personnel file was unavailable for review Tuesday night. He remains on active duty.
Hussey will not face criminal charges, Tampa police said Tuesday. A day earlier, when news of the boy’s discovery broke, police spokeswoman Laura McElroy mentioned possible charges of reckless endangerment or culpable negligence against the gun’s owner, whom she said police were still looking for at the time.
“It was always our goal to ensure the person who left the gun face consequences,” McElroy said Tuesday. “There is no doubt that will happen within his organization.”
Yes, honest mistakes are inevitable from time to time, and it’s fortunate no one was hurt. However, chances are if this had happened to an ordinary person, criminal charges would swiftly follow. In fact, the police statement said as much prior to them realizing that the “forgetful owner” was a cop.