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April 2014

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Man pleads not guilty to charges after hiding handgun in woods near youth football game

Jay T. Greenwald, 41, of Elkhorn, pleaded not guilty to the five misdemeanor counts following an incident where two young children found a loaded handgun that he allegedly hid in a wooded area at Ski Slide Park on Oct. 13 during a youth football game in Ixonia.

Greenwald is being charged in Jefferson County for two counts of endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon, two more counts of leaving or storing a loaded firearm near a child and one count of disorderly conduct.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Jefferson County on Nov. 12, Greenwald visited an Oconomowoc Youth Football (OYF) game on Oct. 13, legally and openly carrying a firearm in his front pocket. According to the complaint, Greenwald was approached by several parents during the game who told him they were uncomfortable with him carrying the gun openly.

According to the complaint, Greenwald said he came to watch his son's game at Ski Slide Park and realized that his gun was in the cargo net in the trunk. He said he decided to keep the weapon because his fiancé and daughter left in his car to go shopping. Greenwald said after he was approached about the gun, he walked into a wooded area nearby and placed the gun under a piece of metal and covered it with some leaves.

The gun was found by two children, ages 7 and 8. One of the children said they were playing in the woods next to the football field and saw a gun sticking out behind a metal pole, the complaint states. The child said they picked up the gun and gave it to the other child's grandfather. The complaint states after the children brought the family member the gun, he unloaded it.

After the football game was over, he returned to find the gun missing and spoke to a man at the game about a missing weapon according to the complaint.

An announcement was also made around the same time that all parents should come to the concession stand. They were informed that someone had misplaced a gun and was looking for it. Law enforcement arrived shortly after.

According to the complaint, one of the parents involved in retrieving the gun said the gun was loaded with a bullet in the chamber. Greenwald stated that only the magazine had ammunition and, "if there was a bullet in the chamber, one of the kids must have pulled back the slide," according to the complaint.

Greenwald reportedly did not have a conceal carry permit for the black Beretta Px4 Storm 40-calibur handgun at the time.

Greenwald has signed a $2,500 bond, with conditions that he not possess a firearm and that he have no contact with the children who found the gun. A pretrial conference for Greenwald has been set for Jan. 16. Court records indicate a potential jury trial has been set for Feb. 21. If convicted, he faces up to 22 months in jail and $22,000 in fines if convicted.

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