The mother of a 7-year-old boy who was found with a loaded handgun in his book bag at a school in Far Rockaway was arrested early Friday after police say she told authorities she put the weapon in the backpack and took it with her when she went out the night before but forgot to remove it by morning.
Police say Deborah Farley, a 53-year-old mother of four, initially told authorities her 9-year-old son said he had seen his 7-year-old brother take a gun to school Thursday morning.
When confronted with information about an unlicensed handgun seized during the execution of a search warrant at her home, Farley offered a different account, telling officers she had put the handgun, ammunition and a flare gun in her son's Batman bag and taken it when she was out late Wednesday "walking the streets" but forgot to remove it before the boy went to P.S. 215 the next day, authorities said.
Police say Farley told them once she realized she left the handgun in her son's bag, she went to the school and tried to sign her son out of class, claiming she needed to take him to a dentist appointment. She looked quickly in his bag and didn't see the weapon, so demanded the boy tell her what he did with "the gun," police say Farley told them. The child, not knowing he had a handgun at the bottom of his bag, thought his mother was referring to the flare gun and told her he gave it to a friend.
Farley then notified school officials, who put the school on lockdown and went to find the friend. The friend was located in a second-floor classroom and authorities recovered the orange flare gun. The handgun was later found at the bottom of Farley's son's book bag, along with ammunition, police said.
Farley was arraigned Friday on charges of criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of weapon on school grounds, endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful possession of a weapon.
Authorities say they discovered seven Ziploc bags containing marijuana during a search of her home. Her 7-year-old and 9-year-old sons were removed from the apartment and put in the care of child services.
Farley remains in jail on $35,000 bail. She's next expected in court on Feb. 6.