Coventry teen faces charges after gun incident at park
COVENTRY, R.I. —
A teenager is in trouble for pointing a gun at another teen and police say it stems from a fight earlier at Coventry High School.
The teen is the nephew of a police detective. But the gun didn't belong to the police officer. The suspect is the nephew of a Coventry police detective, who is also the boy's guardian.
Kaylen Phillips told NBC 10 her son was in the middle of a confrontation in which the teenager allegedly pointed a gun at fellow high school students. "He pointed it at my son's two friends who were sticking up for my son." Phillips said it stemmed from an earlier incident at Coventry High School in which she says the suspect punched her son.
The incident with the gun was at Payne Field in Coventry. The park was packed with kids playing ball at the time.
Police say the suspect pulled the gun during the altercation in the back of the park near a bike path.
Coventry Police Chief Bryan Volpe told NBC 10 the suspect ran but officers quickly arrested him and found the gun, which the chief says was loaded, but loaded incorrectly so it would not have fired.
Volpe said the suspect's uncle and guardian is Coventry Police Detective Kevin Harris, though the boy did not live with him.
"The firearm that we found is not owned by Detective Harris, is not property of the Coventry Police Department, nor was it taken from Detective Harris' residence," Volpe said.
The suspect is being charged with assault with a dangerous weapon. Volpe let Harris bring the boy home instead of sending him to the training school overnight until he saw a judge. Volpe said it was a judgment call.
The move was questioned by Phillips, who said, "I would think that anybody else would be in the detention center until they see a judge."
Volpe said, "I will stand by my decision on that, knowing Detective Harris' abilities, he's a man of integrity. I trusted his ability to take care of this young man and make sure he stays on the straight and narrow until he goes to court."
NBC 10 could not reach Harris, but Volpe said he would not be commenting on the case.