Child Finds Loaded Gun in Diaper Bag

TAMPA, Fla. – Diaper bags hold everything from diapers to baby wipes to changes of clothes and snacks for young children. When a six-year-old boy searched through his mother’s diaper bag during a visit to Ballast Point Park in Tampa, what he found was a loaded firearm that was left there by his mother’s boyfriend.

The boyfriend, R. Marquez, was arrested after leaving a loaded firearm inside his girlfriend’s diaper bag, and now he faces prison.

The diaper bag had been placed on a picnic table at the park, where it was left unattended. What happened next was every parent’s nightmare. The woman’s six-year-old son opened the bag and pulled out the loaded weapon, firing one round.

Fortunately, no one was killed by the child’s dangerous discovery, however, the boy did sustain a small injury to his upper lip due to the gun’s recoil.

When an officer arrived to the scene, he observed Marquez trying to throw the weapon into the Bay.

The authorities discovered that Marquez did have a concealed weapons permit, but he faced other charges. He was arrested on suspicion of tampering with physical evidence and for culpable negligence.

Third Degree Felony Charges

In Florida, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence is covered under Section 918.13 of the Florida Statutes. Under this Section, altering, destroying, removing or concealing physical evidence is a felony of the third degree, punishable by a fine not to exceed $5,000 and up to 5 years in prison.

Under Section 784.05(3), Culpable Negligence, if someone stores or leaves a loaded firearm within reach or easy access to a minor, and the minor obtains the firearm and inflicts injury or death upon themselves or another person, the defendant is guilty of a third degree felony.

If you are facing criminal charges for tampering with physical evidence, culpable negligence or another charge, don’t hesitate to contact a Tampa criminal defense lawyer at Thomas & Paulk. P.A. for a free case evaluation.