- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 25, 2015

HOLLY RIDGE, N.C. (AP) - Police say a 4-year-old boy found a loaded handgun in the bathroom of a church in Holly Ridge.

Police Chief John Maiorano told local media the owner of the handgun, 70-year-old Claude Lee Haynes III of Sneads Ferry, has been charged with child endangerment.

Maiorano said Haynes is accused of leaving an Equinox .380 pistol in a bathroom stall after a service of Lifewalk Church on Sunday. The church was meeting at the Holly Ridge Community Center. Concealed handguns are prohibited by town ordinance in the community center.

The chief said the boy’s father went into the bathroom to get the boy away from the gun.

Haynes is to appear in court in November. It was not clear if he has an attorney.

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