No. 1 (and 2?) with a bullet: Man's pistol blasts toilet to pieces

Published January 14, 2009 12:39 am
Accidental discharge » Cops confiscate handgun after incident in Carl's Jr. restroom
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2009, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The public toilet at Centerville's Carl's Jr. restaurant never knew what hit it. But police say it was a .40-caliber slug fired from a patron's handgun, which went off as he was hitching up his pants.

Centerville police confiscated the 26-year-old Salt Lake City man's firearm, for which he has a concealed weapons permit, after the incident Tuesday.

Police Lt. Paul Child said the bullet shattered the toilet and sent sharp shards into the man's arm. The minor injuries were treated at the scene.

The toilet? A total loss.

Police said the man told them his pistol fell out of the holster and fired into the toilet as he was pulling up his pants.

"The gun fell out of the holster, striking the tile floor," Child said. "When the gun hit the floor, it went off. ... The man was hit by some of the porcelain in the arm, causing some small lacerations."

No one else was injured in the accident, but a woman in an adjacent restroom reported chest pain after being frightened by the shot. She did not go to a hospital.

Police said the accident would have been prevented if the man had used a more secure holster.

"A good-quality firearm also should not fire if it is dropped," Child said.

No charges are being filed against the man, but Centerville police did take his firearm "for safe-keeping" while they review the incident.

"He was a little shook up, so we just wanted to take it right then and allow him time to gather himself before releasing it to him," Child said.

Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Cameron Roden said police commonly pull weapons permits after crimes of violence, felonies or convictions of weapons violations. But he said agencies also sometimes confiscate weapons for a short time as part of their investigation.



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