Mom says son threatened with gun on the playground
An Anchorage mom said her 8-year-old son was threatened with a gun-- and it happened at an unlikely place: the school playground.
Amanda Licka said she was with her husband and three children at Airport Heights Elementary School playground Saturday evening. One of her sons, 8-year-old Ben, was talking to some older boys by the swings. Ben said one of the boys demanded Ben give him the Alaska Zoo hat he was wearing. Ben said when he refused, the boy pulled up his shirt and showed him a handgun and demanded the hat again. Instead, Ben ran straight to his mom.
"He started shaking and crying as he said, 'mom, this kid showed me a gun,'" said Amanda. "And immediately, I panicked. I got on the phone with APD and started telling people, 'you need to leave, there's a kid with a gun here.'"
Ben's dad, Andrew Licka, said he saw both boys and was able to talk with one of them briefly before he took off on his bike. He said the boy appeared to be between 12- and 14-years-old. The other teen, who allegedly had the gun, was a little bit older.
Amanda said both boys were gone by the time officers arrived but police are investigating. She wants other parents to know about what happened.
"Especially when you see children playing by themselves all the time-- that parents do need to be here watching."
Andrew said his son may have learned a hard lesson, that sometimes, even the playground isn't safe.
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