[PHOTO CREDIT: Lake County Sheriff’s Office]
[Original Publish Date: 06/29/20]
LEESSBURG, Florida — A father is facing serious charges after his young son was found with a loaded .22 caliber revolver Friday.
Leesburg Police responded to a weapons complaint around 9:30 p.m. Friday at Squirt the Dirt, 32313 County Road 473. The complainant told police he saw Joshua Gene Ostrander, 35, and his son at the neighboring Memory Shell gas station sitting on a bench. Ostrander reached into his pocket for a lighter and removed a loaded revolver and placed in his son’s lap, according to an arrest affidavit. According to the witness, Ostrander apparently began to doze off and to be too inebriated to function. The boy then picked up the gun and put it in his pocket.
When police arrived on scene, an officer observed the butt of the gun sticking out of the child’s pocket and immediately secured the weapon and put it in his vehicle. All the markings, including the serial number were scraped off, according to the affidavit.
The officer attempted to interview Ostrander. “The father was heavily under the influence of suspected narcotics and could barely speak. He was swaying back and forth and would fall asleep while standing up,” the affidavit states. Ostrander allegedly said, “I know he shouldn’t have it,” according to the affidavit.
The officer spoke with the young boy who was “extremely upset” and did not want his dad to get into trouble. He was turned over to the custody of his mother and the Department of Children and Families was contacted due the nature of the incident, according to the affidavit.
Ostrander was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, carrying a concealed firearm, removing a serial number from a firearm and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He gained his release from the Lake County Jail on $21,000 bond.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. Born and raised in Lake County, she is a graduate of Umatilla High School and Lake-Sumter State College. She started her journalism career at LSSC, where she was editor of both student publications, The Angler and The Odyssey. Her professional career began at the Daily Commercial in 2004 where she covered cops and courts the majority of her time there until she left in 2009. Currently, along with being Editor-in-Chief of Lake Legal News, she is the Florida bureau chief for an international media organization. She has made more than two dozen appearances on live national television, including Nancy Grace and the Greta Van Susteren show, along with her appearance on Evil Twins. Contact her with breaking news, tips, and feedback by sending an e-mail to 352Tips@gmail.com. You can also contact us on our Facebook page — and make sure you “Like” and “Follow us” there. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]