Iraq vet threatens kids
Bully-mad dad aims gun at boy, 10
BY ERIN EINHORN and ALISON GENDAR
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Jamming the barrel of a handgun into a fifth-grader's belly, an enraged Queens parent threatened to shoot the boy in his school playground yesterday - all because he had punched the man's son - the boy and witnesses said.
"I started to cry. I was thinking he was going to shoot me," the terrified student, Antoine Hodges, 10, told the Daily News.
Antoine said he was walking through the schoolyard of Public School 50 in Jamaica at about 8:15 a.m. when Carlos Ugarte, a federal immigration officer, ran up and grabbed him by the collar.
"Were you messing with my son?" Ugarte asked Antoine, according to the boy.
"Yeah," Antoine responded.
His one-word response allegedly prompted Ugarte - a criminal investigator with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement - to brandish his weapon and press it against the boy's stomach, Antoine said.
When Antoine started to cry, Ugarte barked, "Don't cry now. Don't cry now," the boy said.
Stunned students and their horrified parents gathered around Antoine and Ugarte. When several people began screaming, Ugarte bolted, witnesses said.
But Ugarte apparently wasn't willing to wait for school officials to settle the dispute. After confronting Antoine outside the school yesterday, Ugarte made him and his son shake hands and agree not to fight, police sources said.
Ugarte, an Army reservist who served in Iraq, then pulled his weapon and warned: "I'll arrest you if you mess with my kid again," police sources said.
Antoine's parents, Denise and Detrich Odom, were furious yesterday.
Update: GUN POP HIT HARD BY WAR
By LORENA MONGELLI
March 19, 2006 -- The federal customs agent accused of waving his gun at a 10-year-old Queens schoolboy was a changed man when he returned from Iraq 10 months ago, a neighbor said.
The neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said Carlos Ugarte, 37, had been pleading with her son for help in getting stress counseling since he finished his 13-month tour of duty with the Army in May.
"He was trying to get help. He was trying to get treatment," the neighbor said. "He asked my son if he knows someone, because he wanted to get help."
Another family friend, Susy Ramos, 43, described Ugarte as "a good father" who confided how dangerous Iraq had been and how much he had missed his wife and two sons.
Ugarte was an immigration inspector from 1990 to December 2002, when he was promoted to criminal investigator with the new Immigration and Customs Enforcement Division of the Homeland Security Department.
His career was interrupted in April 2004, when the Army Reserves called him to serve in Iraq as a staff sergeant, according to the division.
Think this is a PTSD case?
Eh, it couldn't have been triggered by something so minor, right?
It is imnpossible that this is a case of someone with severe psychological issues after a year in Iraq threatening to murder a 10 year old boy? Right?
Happy Anniversary, President Bush. Another life damaged by your war.
posted by Steve @ 1:40:00 AM