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An argument between two women at Chuck E Cheese in Newington, a restaurant that caters to children, ended in an arrest on Monday night after a woman allegedly pulled a loaded semi-automatic handgun out in front of another woman who was there with a child, according to Newington police.
Police said Tawana Bourne, 30, of Middletown, was at the restaurant with her child around 8 p.m. and got into an argument with another woman, who was also with a child, police said.
During the argument, Bourne allegedly brandished a .380 semi-automatic handgun and chambered a round.
Chuck E Cheese staff quickly contacted the Newington Police Department.
Police said the women had been separated and Bourne was in possession of a .380 caliber handgun.
Bourne, who has a valid State of Connecticut pistol permit, was charged with breach of peace, three counts of risk of injury to a minor, threatening in the second degree and reckless endangerment in the first degree.
Her firearm and permit were seized, police said.
Chuck E. Cheese issued the following statement, saying that signs are posted prohibiting weapons or firearms and the company will be evaluating security.
"We are aware of an incident that occurred in our Newington, Conn., store on the evening of Monday, Feb. 4, in which a patron threatened another patron with a handgun. The store manager and staff acted immediately, followed proper safety procedures and contained the incident until local police officers arrived. As a result, there are no injuries to report and we are thankful for the dedicated service of community law enforcement and the swift actions of our alert staff members.
"At Chuck E. Cheese’s, providing wholesome entertainment to families with young children and maintaining a safe experience for our guests and staff is a primary concern for us just as it is top-of-mind for the families and parents who visit us. We want to assure parents and caregivers that we take great measures to protect the experience children and families have in our stores. Many of the measures we have in place – such as our Kid Check program, employment of security guards, active security camera systems and additional safety precautions – are transparent to our guests to encourage an environment Where a Kid Can Be a Kid. In all of our stores around the country we display very visible signs prohibiting entry with weapons or firearms without exception. While the patron in question has a valid State of Connecticut pistol permit, she was in clear violation of this order on private property and our staff acted accordingly.
"We will continue to evaluate the security of each location in the coming hours, days and weeks and will react swiftly should we feel more stringent measures become necessary. The safety of our guests and staff is a primary concern for us just as it is top-of-mind for the families and parents who visit us.
"In the interest of our patrons, Chuck E. Cheese’s will work with the police fully during their ongoing investigation and therefore cannot offer more detail at this time."
Bourne was released after posting a $50,000 surety bond and is scheduled to appear at New Britain Superior Court on Feb. 19.