Charges: Former Zanewood Youth Worker Returned Gun to Minor
A former Zanewood Recreation Center youth outreach worker who allegedly found and returned a handgun to minor was criminally charged on April 21.
The Hennepin County Attorney’s office charged Royontay Malone, 22, with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a gross misdemeanor.
According to the criminal complaint, Zanewood staff decided to close the youth center at 6 p.m. on April 14.
City staff required all youth to stay outside the building.
Youth worker found, returned handgun at Zanewood
At approximately 7 p.m., a 16-year-old male asked youth workers to retrieve his bag from a locker.
The workers noticed the bag was heavier than they expected and opened it. Inside they found a 9mm handgun.
Malone “told the other worker and his supervisor that he would handle the situation,” according to the criminal complaint.
Police allege that Malone allowed the 16-year-old back into Zanewood. Malone told the youth that he knew he had a gun in his bag.
Malone returned the bag and gun to the minor, telling him to leave. He instructed the youth not to return for a week or two until “things settle down,” according to the complaint.
No one contacted the police about the incident until Monday, April 17.
Police later found and arrested the 16-year-old on Park Center High School property. Police found a handgun in his possession at the time of his arrest.
The 16-year-old was charged by juvenile petition, Brooklyn Park police Inspector Elliot Faust said.
The district court set Malone’s bail at $6,000 and scheduled his first court appearance for April 24.
The city of Brooklyn Park hired Malone as an independent contractor. The city terminated his contract effective April 19.
Brooklyn Park has also launched an internal investigation into the incident.