Originally Posted by Calgary Herald
Daddy, are you mad at me? Those were the first words out of the mouth of a scared little girl to her father when he was released this week after being charged with possession of a firearm because of a picture she drew at school of a man holding a gun - which turned out to be a toy.
On Wednesday police in Waterloo, Ont., arrested Jessie Sansone, 26, a resident of nearby Kitchener, when a teacher at his daughter's school voiced concern over the drawing, Insp. Kevin Thaler of Waterloo Regional Police told Postmedia News.
The school contacted Family and Children's Services, which then called police, said Thaler.
During questioning, Thaler said the child, along with her siblings, provided police with a "detailed description" of a gun that was stored in the home and was accessed by the children.
"The kids were scared," said Thaler. "It is a four-year-old that we're taking the information from, but the fact is that this disclosure was very descriptive and very alarming to the officers investigating this."
It was a typical day for Sansone, who had no idea when he arrived at Forest Hills school to pick up his children, including four-year-old daughter Neaveh, that three police officers were waiting to arrest him.
Informed he was under arrest for possession of a firearm, Sansone said he never was told the details of why he was being arrested.
Thaler said the arrest was made "because it was the end of a school day."
"The officers' concern was . . . the need to secure and locate the firearm," he said.
While he sat in a police cell, Sansone said officers took his wife, Stephanie, who is pregnant, and his four children to the station for more questioning.
At some point during the investigation, police became aware that the gun was a toy pistol, information that was confirmed when they found it in the family's home later that day, said Thaler.
"The child had every belief it was real," said Thaler. "The indication from the kids was that it was dad's (gun)."
Sansone denied that his children thought the gun was real or belonged to him.
"It's a toy pistol," he said. "It's completely transparent. It doesn't even resemble a real gun, at all."
Police released Sansone about four hours later, said Thaler.
"The first thing my daughter said when I saw her was, 'Daddy are you mad at me?' " recalled Sansone. "That sums it up to me."
On Friday, Sansone said his name has been slandered by the incident. He said he was upset with how all the authorities involved handled it.