Tawana Bourne was arrested for brandishing a gun and loading a round during a fight with another parent at a Chuck E. Cheese in Conn. She has been charged and released on bond, though the incident has shaken the Newington community.
Police responded to a call about an argument between two women at the kid-friendly restaurant. Witnesses told police that Bourne and another woman had begun arguing when the fight escalated, and Bourne actually loaded the weapon with ammunition.
"That's a step up from just having a handgun in your possession," Newington Police Sgt. Chris Perry told CBS affiliate WFSB. "Obviously taking it out and chambering a round, there's non-verbal intent there. So, that's how I'm assuming the victim took it and that's how we took it."
Chuck E. Cheese staff immediately called 911 upon seeing the weapon, and by the time police arrived, the women had ceased arguing and moved away from one another. Bourne was still taken into custody and had her gun and permit confiscated by police. She will have to go before a judge in order to get them back.
Bourne has been charged with breach of peace, three counts of risk of injury to a minor, menacing, and reckless endangerment. She is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 19 but was released on $50,000 bond.
For its part, Chuck E. Cheese has worked to reassure parents that their facility is a safe place for children, regardless of the most recent incident. The pizza place is often the site of birthday parties and features a whole host of activities for kids of all ages.
"We want to assure parents and caregivers that we take great measures to protect the experience children and families have in our stores. Many of the measures we have in place – such as our Kid Check program, employment of security guards, active security camera systems and additional safety precautions – are transparent to our guests to encourage an environment 'Where a Kid Can Be a Kid,'" the company said in a statement.
"We will continue to evaluate the security of each location in the coming hours, days and weeks and will react swiftly should we feel more stringent measures become necessary," Chuck E. Cheese added.