LEEDS — When Maine State Police found a loaded rifle in his vehicle, a local man suggested that maybe his 3-year-old nephew had loaded the firearm.
On Sunday, 39-year-old Christopher Hanson was stopped by Trooper Tyler Stevenson on Route 219, after the trooper deemed his vehicle suspicious, according to Sgt. Richard Mills of the Maine Warden Service.
Previous to the stop, Mills said, Hanson had been hunting a deer that had run onto posted property, and he had gone in search of the property owner to ask to pursue the deer.
Upon inspection, Stevenson found the rifle in the vehicle, according to a statement released Tuesday by state police.
In his narrative of the incident, Stevenson wrote that he "checked the subject’s rifle and found it was loaded in his vehicle. The subject claimed that he did not know his rifle was loaded and that his 3-year-old nephew had been playing with it and must have loaded it."
Hanson gave this explanation near the end of the stop, Mills said, suggesting that he had tried to find an acceptable excuse for having the loaded firearm in the vehicle.
Hanson was not arrested on scene but was issued a summons to appear in court for having a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.