On May 10, 2024, the Beachwood Police Department arrested a man named David Jones for leaving his young son unattended in a sweltering car with a loaded gun inside while he went shopping at Beachwood Mall.

Circumstances of the Incident

At approximately 4:30 p.m., concerned citizens alerted mall security about a child left alone in a locked car parked in the mall's lot. Security personnel immediately contacted the authorities.

Upon arrival, officers found a 6-year-old boy sitting in a car with the windows slightly rolled down. The car was parked in direct sunlight, and the temperature outside was close to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Inside the car, officers discovered a loaded handgun tucked away under the driver's seat. The weapon was later identified as a 9mm Glock pistol.

Father's Arrest and Child's Condition

The boy's father, David Jones, returned to the car shortly after officers arrived. He was immediately taken into custody by police.

The child was transported to University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center for examination. He was found to be dehydrated but otherwise uninjured.

Investigation and Charges

The Beachwood Police Department conducted a thorough investigation into the incident. Jones was charged with the following:

  • Felonious Assault (for endangering the child's life)
  • Endangering Children
  • Improper Handling of a Firearm in a Motor Vehicle

Jones is currently being held at the Cuyahoga County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

Statement by Beachwood Police Chief

Beachwood Police Chief Robert Malkus released a statement regarding the incident:

"This was a reckless and dangerous act. Leaving a young child unattended in a hot car, especially with a loaded gun present, is simply unacceptable. Thanks to the quick thinking of concerned citizens and the swift response of our officers, this incident was resolved without any injuries."

Community Concerns

The incident sparked outrage and concern within the Beachwood community. Many residents expressed shock and anger at Jones' actions.

"As a parent, I'm horrified to think about what could have happened," said local resident Mary Smith. "It's a miracle that the child survived this ordeal."

Safe Child Practices

The Beachwood Police Department urges parents and caregivers to always take proper precautions when leaving children in vehicles:

  • Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even for a short period of time.
  • Park in shaded areas and crack the windows slightly to allow air circulation.
  • Take children with you whenever possible, even for short errands.
  • If you see a child alone in a vehicle, call 911 immediately.

Importance of Gun Safety

The incident also highlights the importance of responsible gun ownership. Gun owners should:

  • Keep firearms unloaded and stored in a secure location, inaccessible to children.
  • Never leave a loaded firearm unattended.
  • Train children about the dangers of guns and the importance of gun safety rules.

Consequences of Neglect and Lack of Gun Safety

The consequences of leaving children unattended in vehicles and failing to practice proper gun safety can be severe. Children may suffer from heatstroke, hypothermia, or other medical emergencies. Firearms can be deadly weapons if they fall into the wrong hands.

Call to Action

The Beachwood Police Department and the community at large are urging everyone to be vigilant in protecting children and promoting gun safety. By following these simple guidelines, we can create a safer environment for our children and the entire community.

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