In March, Fairfax County police arrested a 54-year-old Centreville man after he allegedly shot a 7-year-old boy he was babysitting. But when the case came to court last week, the charges against him were dropped.
THE MAN in question is Alexander Bayden of the Hanna Estates community. In a March 7 affidavit, police sought permission to search Bayden's home for items including "shotguns, used shell casings [and] ammunition for shotguns." When they received it and executed the search, they seized a 410 Kalashnikov Saiga shotgun, an M6 Scout .22-caliber Hornet and seven 410 shells.
In that affidavit, Officer Carter Alsberry also explained what had happened. He wrote that Bayden was taking care of the child, Feb. 5, for the boy's mother. Centre View is not revealing her name, since her son is a victim. That same evening, Alsberry responded to Inova Fair Oaks Hospital for a report of a boy, 7, with a gunshot wound to his leg.
While there, the officer talked with Bayden. "He advised that the two of them were in the basement of his home, looking at his gun collection," wrote Alsberry. "Bayden advised that he removed the guns from the gun case — [including] a pistol and a shotgun."
Bayden reportedly told Alsberry that he "checked the guns and made sure there was no ammunition in the weapons. He then allowed [the boy] to look at the guns" and they played war. Bayden told the officer one of the guns later fell over and fired a bullet, wounding the boy in the leg.
However, the boy told Alsberry he was playing war with Bayden. "He was running away from Bayden when he heard a loud noise and he fell down," wrote Alsberry. "[The boy said] Bayden pointed the gun in his general direction prior to [his] hearing the loud noise and falling on the floor."
ON MARCH 7, police charged Bayden with malicious wounding, discharging a firearm in an occupied residence and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He appeared last Friday, Jan. 8, in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court before Judge Kimberly Daniel.
At that time, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Ian Rodway told the judge the case was not going forward. "Your Honor, after speaking to the officer and the little boy involved, the Commonwealth is moving to [drop] the charges," he said. However, added Rodway, the incident "doesn't show a lot of brainpower by Mr. Bayden for having a loaded weapon around the house."