5-year-old unknowingly brings loaded gun in backpack to Chester A. Moore Elementary, dad arrested

ST. LUCIE COUNTY — A Port St. Lucie man was arrested two weeks after a loaded handgun was found in his 5-year-old son's backpack at Chester A. Moore Elementary school in Fort Pierce, according to records obtained Tuesday.

Tantalus Prentice "Tan Tan" Toussaint, 32, of the 2600 block of Northwest Hatches Harbor Road in Port St. Lucie, was arrested Saturday on a child neglect charge after the Sept. 6 incidents at the school in the 800 block of North 29th Street in Fort Pierce.

The boy told St. Lucie County sheriff's investigators he didn't know the Walther handgun was in his backpack. He said the weapon belonged to his father and that his dad put it there "on accident."

The child said that after the gun was discovered, he was in the front office. He saw his dad enter the school and motion for him to go outside the office. The boy said he left with his dad.

"The child said while his dad was speeding down the street, his father said he 'took off cuz he thought he was gonna go to jail," an affidavit states.

The child said his father said that because he knew law enforcement officials were coming to the school.Because the boy left the school without proper procedures being followed, the school was put in lockdown and triggered a "greater law enforcement response for fear of an abduction."

Parents of students at C.A. Moore were notified the same day that a loaded gun was recovered on campus, Jancie Karst, St. Lucie County schools spokeswoman, said Tuesday.This story will be updated.

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