Hyattsville chief credits mom, officers with getting rifle away from sleeping teen

Hyattsville Police Chief Jarod J. Towers credits a mother for trusting his department and officers for successfully retrieving an assault rifle from a sleeping teen.

The mother of the 15-year-old boy called police to the family’s home, in the 3500 block of Madison Place, around 8 p.m. Sunday.

Towers said that when officers arrived at the scene, they found the teen asleep in his room. With the boy was a loaded short-barreled AR-15-style rifle. A news release said the rifle was loaded with a 30-round P-Mag that contained two .223/.556 rounds.

“I’m extremely grateful for the mother, for trusting us,” Towers said.

“We in Hyattsville believe absolutely in community policing, and our relationships with the community have afforded us the opportunity to get involved in this situation, much sooner than elsewhere and potentially prevent any type of situation from that could happen in the future.”

Towers said the officers did what they are trained to do. After they cleared the home, he said, “They went in quietly and tactfully and removed the weapon without disturbing the 15-year-old when he was sleeping, without waking him up and potentially escalating the situation.”

The chief said officers were familiar with the teen, who faces charges of being under the age of 21 while in possession of a firearm, and altering the gun’s serial number.

gun recovered from sleeping teen in Hyattsville
Hyattsville police posted this picture of the weapon on Facebook. (Courtesy Facebook/Hyattsville Police Department)

“We have been in touch with this young man and his family in the past, and in each instance, we have done everything in our power to encourage him to make better choices,” Towers said.

“You know, 20 years ago, a police department may have barged into the room pointing guns and escalating a situation, ultimately, resulting in a shooting or death that, you know, could have potentially been something that years ago would have just been chalked up as immediately justified. Officers showed extreme caution and patience and de-escalation tactics in resolving the situation.”

WTOP’s Mike Murillo contributed to this story.

Colleen Kelleher

Colleen Kelleher is an award-winning journalist who has been with WTOP since 1996. Kelleher joined WTOP as the afternoon radio writer and night and weekend editor and made the move to in 2001. Now she works early mornings as the site's Senior Digital Editor.

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