A father was recently arrested for endangering his children’s safety, police said.
Officers were dispatched to the 2100 block of Racquet Club Drive at 8:05 p.m. Aug. 5 for a welfare check. Authorities said Merced County Child Welfare Services reported children were in danger at the residence.
Upon arrival, officers were told David Wayne Louden, 45, of Los Banos, left the residence, allegedly under the influence of drugs and in possession of a loaded gun.
Louden drove back to the residence as officers were talking to his three teenaged children.
As police approached the vehicle Louden reportedly tried to conceal a loaded handgun before he was questioned and taken into custody. Officers said they found methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia during a search of Louden’s residence.
Louden was arrested on suspicion of weapons violations, possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana for sales and child endangerment. He is in custody at the John Latorraca Correctional Facility in lieu of $157,000 bail.
“It’s always heartbreaking when a parent puts their children in a dangerous situation and unfortunately it’s something we deal with more than we’d like to,” Police Chief Gary Brizzee said.
To leave an anonymous crime tip, call (209) 827-7070, ext. 288, or report it to the Merced AreaCrime Stoppers at www.mercedareacrimestoppers.org.