A man on an outing with his friends and his youngster is under scrutiny for allegations that his questionable choice of activities broke several laws.
Phoenix resident Nicholas Forte, 29, decided to give his wife an afternoon to herself and take his son with him when he went to hang out with two of his friends.
Forte collected his 1-year-old son and met up with Aaron Bradford, 23, and 38-year-old Kyonnie Hodge. The three men and the child headed up to a public recreation area near Piestewa Peak.
When they arrived at the spot, which is well known for its unusual-shaped saguaro cacti, they set up in a location that had a partially enclosed shelter with the toddler and his car seat in tow.
Forte and his friends reportedly pulled out a 9mm and they each took turns inside of the park-provided ramada to take care of the little one while the others used a saguaro cactus in the vicinity as a target.
It is also alleged that during the periods that each man was in charge of sitting with the toddler they used the time to also smoke marijuana.
The trails in the area are regularly frequented by hikers and visitors, who then notified the authorities when they thought they heard the sound of gunfire.
Nearby officers went to the location reported by the concerned citizens and one of them recorded that they heard what they believed was gunshots as well.
When they scouted out the alleged offenders the police said they found a gun placed in the car seat with Forte’s son sitting on top of it.
When the officers questioned Forte he said he thought it was legal to shoot the gun in that location. He additionally allegedly stated that the gun was in the child’s car seat because one of his friends passed it to him while he was holding the boy. After putting the piece down he reportedly sat the toddler on top of it.
37 shell casings were retrieved and all three men were taken into custody.
Forte is facing charges for child endangerment, discharging a firearm in city limits, and possession of marijuana.
No injuries were reported from the incident other than those allegedly inflicted upon the cactus.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a crime, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.