PSL father arrested for sending toddler door-to-door with BB gun - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

PSL father arrested for sending toddler door-to-door with BB gun

Shanito Howard, Courtesy Port St. Lucie Police Department Shanito Howard, Courtesy Port St. Lucie Police Department

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL (WFLX) - Port St. Lucie police have arrested the father of a 4-year-old boy who, they say, was going door-to-door in a neighborhood, brandishing a BB gun that looked like a handgun.

Shanito Howard, 20, is charged with child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Neighbors told police that Howard was sending his young son to knock on their doors, BB gun in hand, while he hid in their driveways.

According to an arrest affadavit, the boy knocked on several doors in the neighborhood at around 9:30 p.m. Monday. Howard would stay back until after the door was answered, then hurry up to the home to scold his son and apologize to the startled neighbors.

Police responded to a 9-1-1 call from the neighborhood and spoke to witnesses at three different homes, all with similar accounts of what happened.

After speaking to neighbors, police made contact with Shanito Howard, who was positively identified and placed under arrest.

After telling police "we were just walking", Howard declined to answer further questions, telling police he didn't "want to get into more trouble".

Police recovered a 4.5 mm BB gun which "resembled a Glock handgun".

The child was allowed to remain with his mother, who told police she had no idea the two were walking the neighborhood. Police contacted the Department of Children and Families for additional investigation into the boy's welfare.

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