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Girl, 16, finds officer's missing gun on amusement ride in Ocean City

Press of Atlantic City

Original Article »

June 21, 2007

OCEAN CITY - A 16-year-old girl on vacation from Pennsylvania turned in a .22-caliber revolver Thursday that an off-duty police officer lost.

The girl sat on the gun when she stepped into the Slingshot, a ride at Gillian's Wonderland Pier. Thinking it was a toy, she put it in her pocketbook and forgot about it until her mother told her about a news report about the missing weapon, police Sgt. Dennis Jones said.

An off-duty officer from Pennsylvania reported losing the gun on Wednesday, prompting the park to close while officers searched in vain for it.

Police said the small revolver resembles a toy, which made its disappearance potentially disastrous in an amusement park full of children.

The Cape May County Sheriff's Office searched the park Wednesday with a dog trained to sniff for residue. Police also conducted a careful grid search of the entire park and area leading to the officer's vehicle on Sixth Street.

A child's discovery of a revolver in 1990 had tragic consequences in Ocean City. A 6-year-old girl, Allison Dattilo, was shot and killed accidentally by an 8-year-old playmate who found a revolver hidden under a porch on the 400 block of Bay Avenue.

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