Five most memorable kids-in-trouble stories

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Number 2: That thing's a lot more lethal than a peanut butter sandwich.... A four-year-old in Lakewood caused panic in her classroom when a loaded gun was found in her backpack, as we reported in 2010. But it was her dad, James Chavez, who was held responsible.

"The teacher indicated to us that she was getting some of the kids' belongings together for the end of the school day, and she found this weapon in the backpack of the four-year-old child," Lakewood Police Department spokesman Steve Davis told us about events that unfolded at Molholm Elementary School.

Both Chavez and the girl's grandmother were contacted by the school, and under police questioning, "Mr. Chavez indicated to us that he had placed the gun in her backpack earlier in the morning and forgot it was there," Davis added.

Why? According to Chavez, he had a loaded gun on hand "because he'd been the victim of a shooting sometime in the past and carried it for protection," Davis went on. "But why it was placed in a four-year-old's backpack, I have no idea. I certainly can't think of a good reason. It was a tragedy waiting to happen, and luckily it did not."

Page down to continue reading about our five most memorable kids-in-trouble stories.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts