Woman held after waving gun around toddlers in creche
Ken Foy of the Evening Herald reports gardai have arrested a woman who terrorised children and staff at a creche when she waved a handgun at them. Armed detectives swooped on the montessori after the woman was seen pointing the replica weapon at the group of toddlers.
The children were evacuated from the creche as the terrifying situation unfolded at the Park Academy Childcare facility at Edengate in Greystones.
“This was a very serious situation – when the report came in it caused major concern,” said a source.
When officers eventually talked the woman down and arrested her, it was found that she was intoxicated and the weapon was a replica.
“That did nothing to ease the tension and fears caused by this incident. At one stage, we thought we could be dealing with a very different scenario,” said a source.
The alert unfolded at about 2pm on Tuesday when a woman who lives opposite the facility started screaming abuse at the children from her home as they played in its recreation area.
The highly intoxicated woman continued to shout abuse at the children as staff members began to round them up and bring them inside the creche.
As this was happening, the woman went back into her home, but quickly reappeared and started waving what appeared to be a handgun.
A source said: “It was absolutely terrifying.”
Gardai were called and three armed detective units rushed to the scene.
In the meantime, the creche activated an evacuation plan and the children were moved to a secure location.
Detectives rushed to the scene, entered the property the woman was in and arrested her.
A source said: “The suspect was arrested in her home – the handgun turned out to be an imitation firearm – in fact a good-quality toy gun.
“A thorough search of the property showed up nothing of evidential value.
“The woman, a Russian national, was in an extremely drunk state. It started when the woman called on the children to be quiet and kicked off from there. She was brought to Bray Garda Station and questioned for a number of hours.
“She was released without charge after giving an undertaking that her behaviour would not be repeated.
“A file on the case will be prepared for the DPP and criminal charges are very likely. As it turned out, children were never under any danger – but it really was a scary situation.
“This was a horrible experience for everyone involved.”
A spokesperson for the creche told the Herald today: “We are actively engaging with Bray gardai in relation to the incident that happened on Tuesday.
“I emphasise that the children were at all times completely safe and the incident itself was over within minutes.
“Our staff responded with the utmost of professionalism, as we would expect.
“The matter is being investigated by gardai and has also been referred to the HSE.”