Man charged with child endangerment after leaving 5-year-old alo - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Man charged with child endangerment after leaving 5-year-old alone in desert with gun

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Paul Rater is accused of leaving his 5-year-old daughter alone in the desert with a loaded gun "to shoot the bad guys" after his truck broke down. Paul Rater is accused of leaving his 5-year-old daughter alone in the desert with a loaded gun "to shoot the bad guys" after his truck broke down.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A grandfather is now facing charges after police say he left his 5-year-old granddaughter alone in the desert with a loaded gun.

It happened Sunday in Maricopa County, Arizona. Paul Rater says he was taking his granddaughter for a ride when his truck broke down. He says he walked to get help, but left his granddaughter because she couldn't walk anymore. Rater told her the 45-caliber pistol was to shoot the bad guys.

But he allegedly went to a bar instead for a couple of drinks and a burger. That's where he was found hours later. 

The little girl was found by a firefighter on an ATV after her parents reported her missing. The gun was loaded and cocked. 

She wasn't hurt, but was scared.

"So many things could have happened with a 5-year-old," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said. "This is a loaded weapon, ready to go."

Rater is charged with child abuse and child endangerment.

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