LAKE WORTH — The uncle of a Barton Elementary School student has been arrested following an incident where the young girl brought two loaded guns to school in a backpack.
Dominic Cobb was charged Thursday in federal court with felon in possession of a firearm. He made an initial appearance in federal court this afternoon and a pre-trial detention hearing has been set for Thursday, May 3.
Cobb allegedly put the two firearms in his niece's backpack while he was attempting to move them from one apartment to a new apartment, according to the complaint filed against him.
School officials learned about the guns when another student spotted them in the girl's backpack and reported them to a teacher. The girl acknowledged she had the guns in her backpack and said they belonged to her uncle "Dominic," the complaint stated.
The girl's mother later came to the school, and told school police that the guns belonged to her brother, who is a convicted felon.
Soon after, Cobb also arrived at the Lake Worth school and acknowledged that the guns were his and that he had put them in the girl's backpack, according to the complaint.
He also confirmed he had a prior felony conviction for marijuana, the complaint states. When police later conducted a records check, they found Cobb had one felony conviction in June 2006 and another in June 2007, the complaint says.
William Zloch, the assistant U.S. attorney assigned to the case, declined to comment after Cobb's initial appearance, citing the ongoing case.
The student - a first grader, according to one source - never took the guns out of her backpack, and school officials immediately notified police when they became aware of the guns, school district spokesman Nat Harrington said Wednesday.
"At no time were students or staff in danger," Barton Principal Aurora Francois said Wednesday.
Palm Beach County School Police, the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms investigated the incident.
Harrington could not say whether the girl was in class today or whether there would be any repercussions for her. It's also unclear whether any charges will be filed against the girl's mother.