Homeowners find their dog playing with a loaded gun

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RACINE, Wis. (AP) - A number of residents thought their dog was playing with a toy in the backyard - but the toy turned out to be a loaded semiautomatic handgun.

Police think the gun was tossed there by a felon who was being chased in the area Thursday night.

After the dog found the weapon Friday, one of the residents picked up the gun gingerly with two fingers, police said. Just as the man entered the house the gun fell, firing when it hit the floor. A bullet ricocheted off the door into the ceiling.

Officers were called to the house, where they recovered the gun. No injuries were reported.

One of the residents told officers she heard a thud Thursday night as though something had hit the house. She didn't think anything of it at the time.

Police said they were chasing 22-year-old Sergio M. Pegues about that time who was wanted on a felony probation hold. They think the thud may have been the Racine man tossing the gun into the yard.

Police had been called to the area about 9:20 p.m. Thursday after Pegues was reported to be in the neighborhood and suspected of being armed. Officers saw him walking nearby but he fled when they initiated contact.

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They gave chase and one officer caught up to him but he managed to escape. He was arrested later at his home.

Pegues was charged Friday with possession of marijuana, disorderly conduct and obstructing an officer. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 4 1/2 years in prison and a $21,000 fine.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

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