A Toms River man charged for allowing his 4-year-old son access to the gun that the boy used to kill a 6-year-old playmate has waived his right to an initial court appearance, his attorney said Wednesday.

Anthony Senatore, 33, is free on $100,000 bail. He is charged with several counts of endangering the welfare of a child along with a disorderly person’s offense for leaving five guns — including the loaded rifle used to Brandon Holt, 6 — accessible to his three children.

Attorney Robert Ebberup released a statement Wednesday in which he criticized the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office for arresting his client in front of his family while they ate dinner.

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The lawyer says Senatore would have voluntarily turned himself in to face charges of child endangerment and enabling access by a minor to a loaded firearm.

But acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain said the arrest was made in “an appropriate and thoroughly professional manner.”

The office “has a practice of longstanding that we do not negotiate the surrender of defendants,” McClain said in a statement. “We feel that to engage in such a practice is to create two classes of defendants based upon the ability to pay an attorney. We feel that such a practice is unfair to those persons accused of crimes who cannot afford an attorney.”

He also said New Jersey has no protocol requiring a law enforcement agency to offer a defendant the opportunity to surrender prior to arrest in a criminal case.

The Atlantic County prosecutor is conducting the investigation because of a conflict in the Ocean County office.

Authorities say Senatore’s son took a loaded .22-caliber rifle from a bedroom on April 8 and fatally wounded Holt while they were playing outdoors.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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