STOCKTON (CBS13) – The father of a 6-year-old boy posing with a gun while in a car seat is now facing child endangerment charges.
After the brief hearing, the prosecutor talked to reporters, saying he calls the picture disappointing and frustrating but says as surprising as this might seem he says photos like this aren’t unusual.
“We have parents handing a child a .45 caliber gun, there’s no excuse for that what so ever,” said Deputy District Attorney Michael Mulvihill.
It’s not the first picture Mulvihill has seen, and likely wont be the last.
“This child is on a track right now to think engaging in criminal activity is ok. The likelihood of him offending now in the future is much higher given the environment he is in,” said Mulvihill.
Stockton police investigators say the picture was the cell phone screen saver of the child’s father.
Cops confiscated the phone along with drugs and guns during a bust earlier this week.
A San Joaquin County superior court judge charged Raul Gonzalez, 22, and his younger brother Ricardo Gonzalez, 18, with a slew of felonies including child endangerment.
“In relations to not just the photograph but having the child in a home environment where there is a large quantity of narcotics for sale and fire arms as well,” said Mulvihill.
Mulvihill says the picture highlights the need for the community’s help to break the cycle of violent crime plaguing the city.
“We have a lot of great teachers and coaches who help kids like this in bad environments and we hope one or two of those kids in those types of families make it out,” said Mulvihill.
The arraignment continued because the boys father wants more time to hire an attorney.
Bail is set at almost half a million dollars.