Reuters is reporting that an Evansville, Indian couple have been charged with child neglect after a cell phone video showing the couple telling a one-year-old baby to put a gun in her mouth, instructing her to say “pow,” according to police.
The police obtained the cell phone recording after they arrested Michael Barnes on Tuesday. Barnes was arrested on Thursday after he agreed to a sell a firearm to an undercover officer over social media. The video, which showed the one-year-old baby playing with the gun and putting the gun in their mouth while two adults encouraged them, was on Barnes’ phone.
In a statement given by the Evansville police, “Barnes can be heard telling the child to say “pow” on multiple occasions while the child plays with the gun,” and “The video also shows the child placing the muzzle of the gun in her mouth. At no point does Barnes try to stop the child from playing with the gun.”
Wilson, 22 years old, told the police that it was a pellet gun (because that’s safe). The police, however, contend that it was a .40 caliber handgun.
Thankfully, nothing happened and the toddler is still alive. The 12-month-old child and one-month-old twins in the home were placed in emergency care, and both Barnes and Wilson were arrested and face multiple charges, including child neglect and criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon. These charges are already on top of the one that Barnes has for the illegal gun sale.
Barnes, 19, is not the father of of the 12-month-old, but he is the father of the twins. He also has a history with law enforcement; he was out on bond from a robbery case when the police arrested him on Thursday, according to the arrest affidavit. The warrant was issued in November, for failing to appear for a hearing in the robbery case.
Barnes was booked into Vanderburgh County Jail after a rough encounter with a police dog on Thursday evening, where he’s being held without bond.
I think we’ve found Parents of the Year, folks, and we’re not even out of January.
Watch the cellphone video below: