Indiana Couple Arrested After Videos Surface Of 1-Year-Old Playing With Handgun
Investigators in Evansville, Ind., recently discovered cell phone videos featuring a 12-month-old boy putting what appears to be a handgun in his mouth.
The videos were found after 19-year-old robbery suspect Michael Barnes was arrested for trying to sell a handgun to an undercover police officer, according to the Associated Press. After searching Barnes’s phone after his arrest, they found the videos, reports the Guardian.
In the videos, the toddler is allowed to handle and point the gun; he also puts it in his mouth at one point, and the couple is heard encouraging the boy to say, “Pow.”
Barnes and his girlfriend Toni Wilson, the child’s 22-year-old mother, now face charges of child neglect, recklessness with a deadly weapon and allowing a child to possess a firearm. Barnes also faces charges of resisting arrest with a weapon, carrying a handgun without a permit and carrying a handgun without a permit within 500 feet of a school, says the Guardian.
Police determined that both adults were present during the filming — Barnes himself recorded the video.
The mother reportedly told police that the weapon was only a pellet gun. However, according to the Associated Press, officers say it was a .40-caliber handgun. Its magazine had been removed, but it was “not clear” if ammunition was still in the chamber.
Barnes and Wilson have both been arrested, and Wilson’s child and his two one-month-old half-siblings have been put in emergency care, according to the Guardian.