A Queens woman has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon, endangering the welfare of a child, and more, after leaving a .22-caliber pistol and a flare gun in her 7-year-old son's backpack—something the 7-year-old discovered only after arriving at school. Deborah Farley, 53, says she put the guns in the boy's Batman backpack before going out with it this week, and forgot to take them out before sending him to school, police tell the New York Times.
When she realized what she'd done, she rushed to the school to try to retrieve the weapon. By then her son had already found the flare gun and given it to a classmate. When his mother asked him to hand over the gun, he said he'd given it away—not realizing the .22 was in his bag, too. Farley alerted the principal, who locked down the school and alerted authorities. Now the boy and his 9-year-old brother have been taken into protective custody. Their father, Walter Orozco, 56, says things could have ended more tragically, because his son is often bullied. (Read more Deborah Farley stories.)