standing Westerly Police Department Cruiser

WESTERLY — A Bowling Lane resident is facing charges after the police said a well-being check led officers to find he had hidden a loaded AR-15 underneath a bed that a child was sleeping in following a domestic incident with the child's mother.

Westerly police charged 44-year-old Charles F. Haase, of 34 Bowling Lane, with cruelty or neglect of a child, domestic vandalism, domestic disorderly conduct, two counts of simple assault or battery, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct following the Saturday morning incident. The Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families was also notified of the incident.

Westerly police said the gun was discovered after police received a request for a well-being check Saturday morning from the daughter of Haase's significant other. The police said it was discovered through investigation that there was a physical altercation the night before during a fight that began in Connecticut before the two arrived home.

When officers notified Haase of their intent to arrest him, the police said he became aggressive and fought with officers. The police used Cap-Stun pepper spray twice and a stun gun, but he continued to fight. He was eventually taken into custody after diving through a front window to the home in an effort to escape custody, a police report said.

Inside the home, Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said officers found Haase's AR-15 underneath a bed where one of the two children living in the home had been sleeping. Lacey said both the couple's children, ages 4 and 13, were home at the time of the incident. 

"It does appear the gun was otherwise owned legally, which is why there were no weapons charges," Lacey said. 

The gun was seized as evidence and remains in police custody, Lacey said. Haase was arraigned before a justice of the peace and released after posting a $5,000 surety bond, Rhode Island court records show. He is scheduled for formal arraignment in Fourth Division District Court on Jan. 15.

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