A Middletown woman was arrested Monday night after allegedly pulling out a handgun and chambering a round during a fight with another parent at the Newington Chuck E. Cheese.
Around 8 p.m. Monday, members of the Newington Police Department headed to the Chuck E. Cheese on the Berlin Turnpike after getting word of an argument between two women.
When police arrived, they said they were told that Tawana Bourne, of Middletown, was at the restaurant with her child when she became involved in an altercation with another woman that was also with a child.
During the fight, police said Bourne allegedly pulled out a .380 semi-automatic handgun for a brief period of time and chambered a round.
"That's a step up, from just having a handgun in your possession," said Newington Police Sgt. Chris Perry. "Obviously taking it out and chambering a round, there's non-verbal intent there. So, that's how I'm assuming the victim took it and that's how we took it."
Chuck E. Cheese staff immediately called 911 and told operators what was taking place.
When officers arrived, Bourne and the other woman were separated and no injuries were reported.
Police said Bourne did possess a valid state of Connecticut pistol permit.
Bourne's gun and permit were seized and have been forwarded to state police. A judge will have to decide if Bourne will get them back.
In a statement to the media, officials with Chuck E. Cheese said their No. 1 goal is to provide a safe environment for their guests.
"We want to assure parents and caregivers that we take great measures to protect the experience children and families have in our stores," the Chuck E. Cheese statement said. "Many of the measures we have in place – such as our Kid Check program, employment of security guards, active security camera systems and additional safety precautions – are transparent to our guests to encourage an environment Where a Kid Can Be a Kid."
Chuck E. Cheese officials, who are working with the Newington Police Department on the investigation, said there are signs in each store that state firearms and weapons are prohibited. And even though Bourne had a pistol permit, officials said she violated an order by bringing a gun on private property.
"We will continue to evaluate the security of each location in the coming hours, days and weeks and will react swiftly should we feel more stringent measures become necessary," the Chuck E. Cheese statement said.
Police said they believe that Bourne and the other woman did not know each other.
"The way parents are nowadays, it seems like they wanna defend their kids and do anything," said Jason Homar of New Britain after hearing about the story.
Bourne was charged with breach of peace, three counts of risk of injury to a minor, threatening and reckless endangerment. She was released on $50,000 bond and was given a court date of Feb. 19.
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