Father of man arrested for bringing gun to movie theater speaks out
Earlier this week, news broke that a Covington man named William Dakotah Gossett was arrested and jailed in Western Pennsylvania on July 24 for bringing a stolen gun and ammunition into a movie theater, according to Center Township, Pennsylvania police.
When the news traveled back to Covington, it hit the Gossett family harder than one could imagine.
“My mother saw it on the news, and it severely upset her,” said Kyle Gossett, William’s father. “It’s hurt our family pretty bad because of his name. Everybody knows that name. We’ve lived here since 1969, so we know a lot of folks here, and it’s disheartening. I’ve gotten emails, texts and Facebook messages saying, ‘Hey, is this your son?’ It’s overwhelming to have to admit that it is. What he does reflects back on us.”
Gossett, 21, was born and raised in Covington, Georgia. Around 11 years ago, Gossett’s father and mother, Lisa Fox, separated. Gossett then spent time going back and forth staying with his parents.
According to his father, he had a history with trouble, which he feels may be linked to his battle with Asperger Syndrome.
“He’s always been what you would call mischievous,” he said. “He was always into stuff, and he was fascinated with knives. He has Asperger's, which is a form of Autism. When he was 9 years old, they tested his IQ, and it was 140. So he’s super smart but not when it comes to common sense stuff. Does he know right from wrong? Yeah, he does. He just doesn’t look at the consequences.”
Gossett’s parents both attempted to get him help as a juvenile. He was once sent to a mental hospital for a 72-hour mental evaluation. However, after a day and a half, he was released by the doctors.
“The mental hospital told me if he hasn’t harmed anybody, threatened anybody or hurt himself, then there’s nothing they could do,” his father said.
According to his father, Gossett currently has two felonies in Newton County after police found him with a fake ID and someone else’s credit card information. After serving time in jail, he was placed on 10 years of probation, which prohibits him from being able to leave the state.
The investigators of the Pennsylvania case, however, told his parents that he had previously conducted a home burglary in Ohio, stealing the gun and $2,200 just prior to his trip to Center Township.
Gossett’s father said his son was noticed by police in the movie theater that day because he was dressed in Army fatigues and holding a book bag despite it be- ing 95 degrees outside. According to his father, the movie he had planned to see was “The Purge: Election Year,” which is about an annual holiday that allows all crime, including murder, to be legal for 12 hours.
“I hate what he did, but I’m glad he got caught before who knows what could have happened,” his father said. “You never want to see your child in trouble. That’s what makes you think, ‘how could I have prevented that? What did I do that made him want to do this?’ His mom and I both hope they can get him some help this time because we’ve done everything we could do down here.”
Gossett is set to appear in court on Aug. 3 in Pennsylvania.