16-year-old leaves loaded handgun in mall couch, police say

16-year-old leaves loaded handgun in mall couch, police say

A 16-year-old was arrested Saturday afternoon after leaving a loaded handgun in a couch at West Towne Mall, police said.

A 35-year-old Sparta man was in Madison with his family Saturday around 1:30 p.m. when he decided to take a break from shopping at West Towne Mall, officials said.

When he sat down on one of the couches, he found a fully loaded handgun wedged between the armrest and seat cushion, according to the release.

The man contacted security, who notified Madison police and pulled surveillance video, officials said. In the video, officers saw a 16-year-old get up from the couch and walk away from a woman.

According to the release, the video showed that the two people didn’t go far before the 16-year-old became frantic and repeatedly patted his pants pocket. He then sprinted back toward the couch, but slows down when he sees a security guard ahead of him.

Officers said they found the 16-year-old, who was still in the mall, and arrested him on a tentative charge of carrying a concealed weapon and for trespassing, as West Towne Mall is posted as a no weapons zone.

Police determined, even though someone tried to scratch the serial number off the gun, that it was stolen in August from a car that was parked in a Stonecreek Drive apartment building garage.