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Cops arrest father after his daughter
draws a picture of a gun
Gun leading to dad's arrest was a toy
A plastic toy gun is to blame for the mayhem that saw a man arrested at his daughter's school this week.
It was found in the home of the Kitchener father of four after he was arrested over a drawing his daughter drew at the school on Wednesday. Jessie Sansone was strip-searched but not charged.
Sansone's four-year-old daughter Neaveh had drawn a picture of a man holding a gun and said it was her daddy, triggering fears that the family home contained a weapon that was a threat to the children.
The school board, police and child welfare officials all say proper procedure was followed in the case.
"We did what we were supposed to do," said Gregg Bereznick, the Waterloo Region District School Board's superintendent of education.
Neaveh's teacher at Forest Hill Public School was concerned by the drawing and called Family and Children's Services, who assessed the case and called police. After being interviewed by police at the school, Sansone was handcuffed and taken to the police station in a cruiser.
There, Sansone said, he was forced to remove his clothes for a full strip search.
Sansone's wife, Stephanie Squires, was also taken to the police station.
Three of the children were taken to Family and Children's Services to be interviewed.
Based on interviews with the children and school staff, regional police believed there was a real gun in the family home and the children were in danger.
Investigators told Insp. Kevin Thaler they were convinced there was a threat based on the "jaw-dropping" accuracy of the description of a semi-automatic gun.
After more interviews, police determined the weapon was likely a toy gun. After Sansone was released, he allowed police to search his home.
A partly transparent, plastic gun was eventually located. Stephanie Squires said the gun shoots small plastic pellets that look like "tiny purple candy gum balls." However, there were never any pellets in the home. The gun had been left behind by her brother, who used to live with the family.
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