WEST PALM BEACH, FL (Gray News) - After a Florida father received a FaceTime call from his crying son, he allegedly threatened violence and showed up at the boy’s middle school with an AK-47 handgun.
Christopher Freeman, 27, faces charges of aggravated assault with a weapon, possession of a firearm on school grounds and disrupting a school function. He is being held on a $75,000 bond.
The father, who uses a wheelchair, was arrested Monday afternoon at his son’s school, Bear Lakes Middle School in West Palm Beach, FL. He told school district police his crying son had called him on FaceTime to say a teacher had “slammed him,” The Palm Beach Post reports.
During the call, Freeman says he saw an adult grab the boy. The phone then went flying, and the call ended.
The father rushed to campus, where a school police officer approached him. The arrest report said Freeman was visibly upset and yelling, “I want to see the guy who slammed my son. I’ve got something for him,” according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
The officer also saw what appeared to be the handle of a large handgun sticking out of the suspect’s pants.
The middle school was placed on lockdown.
Backup officers arrived and searched Freeman. Police say they found an AK-47 Mini Draco pistol with an extended 30-round magazine and a bullet in the chamber, the Sun Sentinel reports.
The father allegedly told police he never intended to use the gun to harm anyone. He said he carries it for protection and forgot he had it on him.
According to the Palm Beach Post, Principal Kirk Howell said in a telephone call to parents later the same day that “the parent never brandished the gun or threatened the office staff with it at any time.”
Court records indicate Freeman is also facing weapons- and drug-related charges related to a February 2018 traffic stop, for which he will go to trial in April. The Palm Beach Post reports that during the 2018 incident, he allegedly told sheriff’s deputies he had guns, which he said he had permits to carry.