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Posted: 12/17/2003 9:37:47 AM EDT

Police Officer Leaves Assault Rifle On Roadside

POSTED: 6:02 p.m. EST December 2, 2003
UPDATED: 7:05 a.m. EST December 3, 2003

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Another Orlando Police Department officer is in trouble for leaving a weapon in a public place. This time, it was a high-powered assault rifle forgotten on busy Curry Ford Road, near Primrose.

The officer had a flat. So, to get to the spare, he had to pull out everything from his trunk, including the bag that contained his AR-15 assault rifle and ammunition. It was dark, so when he pulled away, he just didn't see the bag.

The weapon is powerful and accurate, and big enough to grab your attention. Last week, it gave staff at the Daybreak Diner a wake-up call they'll never forget. A woman handed it over to them after she found the rifle next to their parking lot.

Waitress's hid the rifle from customers and called cops. They used the serial number on the gun to track it back to Officer Sam McFarland.

"He had gone off shift and was not aware of it, until we made him aware of it, by a supervisor who called him," says Sgt. Bryan Gilliam, Orlando Police.

The mishap took place on the very day Channel 9 reported on another incident at a showing of the film "Finding Nemo." An Orange County reserve deputy left his personal gun in a theatre packed with kids.

A week before that, an off-duty Orlando officer lost his personal gun in an elementary school auditorium.

OPD's spokesman says to remember, they do have 670 officers carrying guns.

"There is always the possibility someone is going to misplace one or drop one and, unfortunately for us, it happened not once, but twice," says Sgt. Gilliam.

Both Orlando officers are now subjects of internal affairs investigations. Their fellow officers are being warned to keep a closer eye on their guns. Gun dealers say they hope they listen.

"I don't want to see any guns lying on the side of the road where a civilian can pick them up," comments gun dealer Larry Anderson.

OPD is installing new gunlocks inside their units. That means officer won't have to carry the black bags in their trunks much longer.

Bet he was glad it did not fall into the wrong hands.

It would've been hilarious to see those waittresses carrying the bag-encases AR15 through the restaurant.
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 10:02:34 AM EDT
Maybe he will get promoted. I wonder what charges would be filed against you for doing something similar in, say Houston, for instance.
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 10:11:57 AM EDT
how the fuck do you lose your gun at a school? not that I don't misplace my gun at home but a elementry school is a little different.
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 10:19:59 AM EDT
be careful where you lay your toys, i know someone who left an aug at the range, lucky the one who found it was honest
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 10:21:16 AM EDT
Oh, man...
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 10:26:25 AM EDT
If I found it I would have thought god answered my prayers for a AR! "wow a LEO model too, Jesus does love me!"
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 10:28:57 AM EDT
So when the ATF comes to take mine, Do you think the excuse "Hey, I forget/lost mine on the roadside" might work?
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 10:44:18 AM EDT
"high powered assault rifle" Excuse me whilst I puke [puke]
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 10:57:17 AM EDT
Ahh, the "cop lost a gun thread" resurrection... Reminds me of a time, not so long ago, when a co-worker was abrubtly called at home, and asked to check his trunk. Seems he forgot to put his AR in the trunk after leaving a call, and instead left the cased rifle on the top of his vehicle. A goodsam found this cherry AR in the roadway, and promptly brought it to the PD. After a short investigation, someone recognized the case, and thought, "hey, we should call Nick, just to make sure". Sure enough, Nick was called and after checking his trunk, promptly freaked out. We all thought Nick was beyond such a stupid mistake, being a certified "gunnut" and all.
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 11:10:25 AM EDT
And to think someday only these "trained professionals" will be able to own firearms. Especially these high powered assault rifles.[rolleyes]
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 11:20:20 AM EDT
I wonder if it was select-fire?
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 11:28:43 AM EDT
"I don't want to see any guns lying on the side of the road where a civilian can pick them up," comments gun dealer Larry Anderson.
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Hmm... Yeah, better make sure that those civilians never get near a gun. There's no telling what they might do. They just had to work something like that into the article somehow.
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 11:53:21 AM EDT
I'd call finders keepers! I can always use another gun.
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 12:14:15 PM EDT
Am I the only guy here who would've called a cop acquaintance so maybe it could be returned to the bumbler on the QT and save him some grief?
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 12:55:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By FLAL1A: Am I the only guy here who would've called a cop acquaintance so maybe it could be returned to the bumbler on the QT and save him some grief?
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He earned that grief. It would be unfair to deny it. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Note to self, if I must unload the trunk to get at the spare, put the contents someplace safe, like the interior of the car. Also methinks that this incident point out why police long guns shoud be in LOCKING RACKS inside the car.
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