By Rachel Williamson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday December 10, 2002
A 16-year-old high school boy was arrested at the Student Union Memorial Center for bringing what he said was his friend's handgun to the UA campus Friday.
The gun was inside a pocket of a pair of sweatpants, which the boy, whose name was not released, left along with a T-shirt and sweatshirt in the union's basement employee laundry room, where it was discovered by another employee.
The boy told police that a friend of his borrowed his sweat pants the previous week and returned them to him in the folded laundry on Friday morning.
The boy said that while he was on his way to work at the student union, folded clothes in hand, he noticed that the pants felt heavier than usual, according to the police report.
He realized that there was a handgun in his pants pocket and decided to bring the gun to work and return it after he left work, reports stated.
When he arrived at work, he asked a co-worker to put the pile of clothes in the laundry room for safekeeping, but he did not tell anyone that a handgun was inside the pants, said University of Arizona Police Department Sgt. Mike Smith.
The employee, who was not identified, noticed the handgun and notified dining services supervisor Rudy Pro, according to the police report.
According to police reports, the gun's safety switch was on.
"It wasn't as though this individual was waving (the handgun) around," Smith said. "And the report does not indicate any ill intentions."
The Arizona Board of Regents code of conduct prohibits the possession or storage of a weapon on campus.
Although the weapons-free zone policy did not stop someone from bringing a weapon to campus, employees did the right thing by reporting the incident, Smith said.
"It shows that people are paying attention," Smith said.
The student was charged with interfering with the peaceful conduct of an educational facility, being a minor in possession of a deadly weapon and for possessing a firearm on school grounds.
He was booked in the Juvenile Court Center and could possibly face jail time or fines, Smith said.
Police also found a marijuana cigarette in the sweater's pocket, but the boy told police that the sweatshirt did not belong to him.
Police could not find any evidence connecting him with the sweatshirt and the was not charged with possession of marijuana.