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Kids find assault rifle at Noland Village

March 10, 2000|By BRENDAN KIRBY

Three children searching for salamanders near their home in Noland Village Thursday found something else: an AK-47 rifle.

Craig Oxyer, the father of one of the boys, said he was disturbed that such a powerful weapon would be in his neighborhood for children to stumble upon.

"With everything that's going on in the schools and the news - they see it," he said.

Hagerstown City Police Lt. Jack Moulton said the rifle was unloaded and rusted so badly that officers could not get the bolt open.

"It's obviously been there a long time," he said. "I'd say it was there before winter."

Oxyer said the boys, all 9 or 10 years old, have been collecting salamanders recently. They were looking for the critters in the woods behind Court 4 at about 4:30 p.m.

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The boys turned over a log and found the rifle inside a black plastic bag. The children immediately took the weapon to Oxyer.

"There's some good kids out here," said Oxyer, who told the children to leave the weapon alone and to tell an adult the next time they find something. "They came right for me."

Moulton said police will clean up the gun and check the serial number to determine if it has been reported stolen.

Eventually, it will be destroyed, he said.

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