Gun stashed in St. Paul day care crib was loaded, police say

The gun police found in a crib at a St. Paul home day care was loaded and was under the mattress, police said Tuesday as they released more information about the case.

The gun police found in a crib at a St. Paul home day care was loaded and was under the mattress, police said Tuesday as they released more information about the case.

Officers executing a search warrant on Friday night found the weapon, along with marijuana and drug paraphernalia in the North End home, according to a police report.

Police arrested three people in the home in the 1100 block of Abell Street and cited two others.

Four children were present when officers arrived - ranging in age from an infant to 17 years old, said Sgt. Paul Paulos, a police spokesman, on Friday. He said three are the children of Amy Michelle Toby, who lives in the home and is licensed to provide family child care there. The other is the child of a friend of Toby’s, Paulos said.

The crib where the gun was found is in Toby’s bedroom and used by one of her own children, who wasn’t in the crib when the gun was found, Paulos said.


Police notified Ramsey County about their findings after the search warrant was executed, Paulos said.

The day care won’t be allowed to operate while a criminal investigation is underway, a Ramsey County spokesman said Monday. The Minnesota Department of Human Services issued an "order of temporary immediate suspension" to Toby’s license on Monday.

The order, addressed to Toby, states: "Due to the serious nature of the report under investigation, Ramsey County cannot ensure the safety of the persons served in your program.

The Commissioner of the Department of Human Services finds that the health, safety, and rights of children in your care are in imminent risk of harm. Therefore, the Commissioner is immediately suspending your license to provide family child care."

Toby, 37, has the right to appeal, the letter states. She hung up the phone on a reporter who contacted her Monday and Tuesday.

Toby was arrested Friday on suspicion of negligent storage of a firearm and child endangerment. She was released from the Ramsey County jail Saturday and has not been charged.

Police also arrested Edward Earl Townsend, 33, at the home Friday. The Ramsey County attorney’s office on Monday charged Townsend with being a fugitive from justice.

Townsend was convicted of armed robbery and possession of a firearm in Wisconsin in 2005, sentenced to 14 years in prison and paroled in December, according to the criminal complaint. He violated parole in June by absconding, the complaint said.

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