Man leaves 5-year-old granddaughter alone in desert with loaded gun

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MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. — An Arizona man is accused of leaving his 5-year-old granddaughter alone with a gun in the desert while he went for drinks and a cheeseburger.

Authorities arrested 62-year-old Paul Rater Monday morning.

They say he took the child for a ride in his pickup Sunday.

Hours later the family reported the girl missing.

Authorities say she was found alone in the desert with a loaded and cocked .45 caliber handgun.

He reportedly told her it was to “shoot the bad guys.”

Rater was later discovered at a local bar where he admitted he left the child.

He told deputies his truck broke down and he was walking to get help.

But authorities say he never told anybody where the girl was.

Rater is facing child abuse and child endangerment charges.