Philip Draper DeCamp, a 50-year-old adjunct at Virginia’s William & Mary, was arrested on Monday following an incident with a firearm.
According to reports, DeCamp hosted a sleepover at his home for his 12-year-old son’s birthday. Ten of DeCamp’s friends showed up for a night of junk food, scary stories, childish fun and to get threatened with a gun.
DeCamp allegedly became annoyed with the noise that the boys were making and then pulled out a gun to threaten them. Unsurprisingly, some of the boys told their parents once the sleepover was over. The parents apparently were not very thrilled by the fact that their children were threatened with a gun, and two concerned mothers contacted the James City County Child Protective Services to file a complaint.
Child Protective Services and the police teamed up to investigate. After poking around they determined that there was sufficient evidence to arrest DeCamp and charge him with four counts of brandishing a firearm.
This is not the first time that DeCamp was under close scrutiny. DeCamp was previously deployed overseas and became involved in an incident where an American tank fired on a Baghdad hotel that killed two foreign journalists.
The use of force was ultimately declared justified, but it is still unclear whether DeCamp will escape criminal charges a second time. Considering the number of witnesses and the fact that he pointed a gun at a group of helpless children, DeCamp could be in a real heap of trouble.
Parents can never seem to agree over punishing children. Is it acceptable to spank a child? Is it right to deny a child food if he is misbehaving? Can you point a gun at kids who are causing ruckus? The Virginia state law enforcement certainly seems to say "no" to that last question. Other Virginia parents who own a gun might want to stick to giving time outs and stern lectures, and leave the gun-charged death threats to home intruders.