NEWINGTON, Conn. (CTNow) — A PTO mom accused of brandishing a handgun at Chuck E. Cheese’s Monday said she pursued her dream of working with children after rediscovering God and conquering a crack cocaine addiction.
According to police, Tawana Bourne argued with another woman at the children’s restaurant on the Berlin Turnpike. Both women had children with them.
“During this argument, Bourne allegedly brandished a .380 semi-automatic handgun and chambered a round,” police stated in a press release.
Staff members quickly called police and Bourne was charged with three counts of risk of injury to a minor and one count each of second-degree threatening and first-degree reckless endangerment. She posted $50,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in Superior Court in New Britain on Feb. 19.
“I’m a very good person,” Bourne said in a brief interview Tuesday. ” Very, very involved in the community.”
Bourne, 30, of Middletown, the mother of two boys, founded a Middletown-based, non-profit organization called Healthy Home Healthy Child, which works with parents on crisis prevention and intervention, according to the Urban Alliance. It is one of several groups that help children with which Bourne is involved, the organization says; a profile of Bourne that the alliance had on its website Tuesday is accurate, Bourne said.
She also said she didn’t wave a gun around in the children’s restaurant while arguing with another woman as police alleged.
“That’s incorrect,” Bourne said. She didn’t elaborate, however, and referred questions to her lawyer, Carmine J. Giuliano.
According to the profile, Bourne grew up “a very spiritually aware child” but strayed from her faith in her late teens. She “ended up caught in a lifestyle of drugs and everything that goes along with them,” it states.
“It began by dealing drugs on the streets, and ended with her becoming addicted to crack cocaine,” it states.
Bourne realized she had to change her life drastically in order to “live out her … dream of working with children.”
“Tawana … believes she was delivered from the demons of addictions through prayer at a church service. Soon after she experienced these transformations, she became pregnant with her first son and stumbled across ABC Women’s Center in Middletown,” the profile states. There, she found the Christian support she desperately desired.
Now, Bourne runs Healthy Home Healthy Child and does work for CT Parent Power, which encourages parents to act on children’s issues, the profile states.
She also works through Middlesex Hospital to provide child development education services to pregnant women and children up to 3 years old, it states. A hospital spokesman couldn’t be reached Tuesday night.
Bourne’s lawyer, Carmine Guiliano, said Bourne has a good job and has never been in trouble. She described herself as a social worker when they spoke, he said.
They were not able to discuss her case in detail yet, he said, but, “She claims the allegations are not true.”
His client is innocent until proven guilty, he said.
“Bottom line is, being arrested means absolutely nothing,” Guiliano said.
— Courant Staff Writer Hilda Munoz contributed to this story.