(Faribault, MN) – A Faribault man is facing child endangerment charges after he allegedly took his children squirrel hunting at night while he was drunk.

Ronald Ervin Hundt, 42, was charged Monday with gross misdemeanor counts of child endangerment, carrying a rifle in a public place, and carrying a pistol while under the influence of alcohol.

According to the criminal complaint, police responded to a report of a man with a gun near Lyndale Avenue and Highland Place just after 9 p.m. on June 2nd.

The man who reported the incident told police he had been driving when he noticed two small children off the road and found Hundt lying facedown on the ground on top of a .22 rifle. The children, ages 7 and 5, told the man their father had fallen.

The complainant said Hundt smelled strongly of alcohol and told him the gun was loaded, so he became concerned for the children’s safety.  He told police he secured the gun and helped Hundt to his feet.

Police say Hundt had to lean on his children to maintain balance when they arrived on scene.  Hundt told officers he went for a walk with the children and brought the .22 to hunt squirrels.

The children’s mother arrived on the scene and told police she was aware Hundt had been drinking since 6 p.m. that evening. She denied knowing he was highly intoxicated when he left with the children, or that he had taken a gun.  She told officers Hundt drank to cope with pain and gave them a list of medications.

Hundt was initially taken to Zumbro Valley Detox Facility, but couldn’t stay due to his need for a CPAP machine.  He was transported back to the Rice County Jail, where a portable breath test put his blood alcohol content at .32.

He could not be accepted into the jail because of his high level of intoxication, so he was released to the children’s mother.

Photo credit: Mark Grossmann

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