An Astoria dad may receive more than just a slap on the wrist after allowing his children to play with loaded BB guns at a local park.
According to District Attorney Richard A. Brown, Zbigniew Pawlowski, 54, allegedly went to Ditmars Park in Astoria on Tuesday, May 7 with his two children—the elder of whom is five years old—and two BB guns.
At the park, Pawlowski allegedly loaded the guns with plastic pellets and shot one at a tree.
He then handed the guns to his children and allowed them to shoot. He also allegedly permitted his five-year-old daughter to run around the park with the BB gun, which she waved at other children, according to the DA.
“Illegal firearms, whether they be a spring-powered pistol or a more conventional deadly firearm, are a serious threat to public safety,” said Brown. “By allowing a five-year-old child to play with the loaded BB gun as if it was just a toy, the defendant is accused of recklessly endangering lives by creating a scenario that could have led to serious injury not just to his own children but innocent others who may have come in contact with the weapon.”
Pawlowski was arraigned on May 9 on charges of first- and second-degree reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child, resisting arrest and violation of a New York City Administrative Code through possession of the BB gun.
Pawlowski is due to return to court in July and if convicted, the father faces up to seven years in prison.
“Times are not the same as when we grew up,” said Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. “With events like Sandy Hook, something like this can cause a panic.”