Robert Barker Accused Of Using BB Gun To Force Stepson To Run Football Sprints

Categories: Crime
Thumbnail image for sunburned.jpg
via Lake County Sheriff's Office
A lesson in improper sunblock management.
Robert Barker, a 41-year-old from Leesburg, was apparently none to pleased when his teenage stepson had to bow out of a youth football game over the weekend due to the blistering heat. His solution? Set up cones in the front yard and make the kid run some sprints -- while pointing a BB gun at him and periodically firing up into the air, Yosemite Sam-style.

Or so says the Lake County Sheriff's Office, who arrested the Floridian and charged him with child abuse. He says it was all a big misunderstanding. But no one can explain the astoundingly strange forehead farmer's tan.

The trouble started Saturday when Barker's stepson grew faint during a football game outside Orlando, the Sentinel reports.

When they got back to Leesburg, Barker told the kid he needed to man up his conditioning. That's when he devised the weapon-motivated sprint routine, police say.

Neighbors called the cops when they spotted the teenager sprinting around the cones in full football gear -- as the heat index hit 107, according to the police report -- while Barker fired BB gun rounds over his head.

The dad says he wasn't shooting at his son, just using the gun Olympics-style to mark the start of the drill.

"I didn't mean for this to get out of hand," Barker tells the Sentinel. "I'm sorry if I did something wrong. Maybe I was a little over-zealous. I'm sorry."

Baker was hit with one count of child abuse and one count of aggravated assault with a weapon, and ordered to have no contact with his step son. The son reportedly told police he was afraid his dad would use the gun on him.

"I'm not a perfect father and I don't know anybody who is," Barker said in his interview with the Sentinel. "I didn't mean to do anything wrong. It all got blown out of proportion."

sunburned.jpg
via Lake County Sheriff's Office
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