District leader’s daughter on paid leave for waving around toy gun

BRIDGEPORT — The daughter of an influential city Democrat is on paid leave after officials learned she pretended to shoot people with a toy gun while on duty as a security guard at the city’s Health Department.

April Robles, daughter of South End District Leader Mitchell Robles, was placed on administrative leave with pay on Jan. 4. City officials acknowledged that Robles is at the center of a Labor Relations investigation but declined to give any details. “I cannot comment further on a personnel matter,” said Elaine Ficarra, Mayor Bill Finch’s spokesperson.

But sources say Robles found a colorful toy gun while on duty at the city’s Health Department on East Main Street and began waving it around in the cafeteria. She also pointed the toy at several people, pretended to shoot and said, “Bang bang.”

The incident came just weeks after the Newtown school massacre. Around the same time, the city, which has been struggling to curb gun violence here for years, began a gun buyback program.

Robles did not return a Connecticut Post reporter’s calls. She also declined to speak to News 12, but her father told the TV station that his daughter found the gun at work and meant no harm. “I raised my daughter right, she’s an adult, and we’ll accept whatever decision the city makes,” Mitch Robles, who is also a city sheriff, told News 12.

Keila Torres Ocasio