Bloomington parents accused of allowing 16-year-old access to loaded guns

The parents of a 16-year-old Bloomington youth face a charge of dangerous control of a child after being accused of allowing their son access to loaded guns.

Their arrests came after an investigation during which police determined the teen, who is on house detention and probation for participating in an armed robbery, carried a loaded rifle out of his house.

During a search of a home in the 2100 block of South Rockport Road, investigators reported finding two loaded handguns in a bedroom and a semi-automatic rifle on the front porch that also was loaded and ready to fire.

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The investigation began after an Oct. 16 shooting incident at Winslow Plaza where two men were firing guns at each other in the parking lot. No one was injured, but bullets struck one of the buildings.

While seeking suspects, police closed off part of Rockport Road to search. While conducting surveillance at the Rockport Road residence that afternoon, officers saw a young male walk out onto the porch holding a "long, black object." The two suspects in the Winslow Plaza shooting then entered that house.

Police obtained a search warrant for the house, where they found a black rifle on the porch. The Anderson Manufacturing AM-15 was loaded and there was a round in the chamber, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Inside a bedroom was a loaded Ruger .380 pistol and a Glock 9mm. Police said none of the firearms were secured.

Gregory Cordell Baker Sr. and Olinida K. Allen approached police officers and said they were the parents of the 16-year-old police had seen on the porch. The two confirmed there were three firearms in the residence, the affidavit said. They said the guns belong to Allen.

Baker was charged with misdemeanor unlawful carrying of a handgun and with dangerous control of a child, a felony with a possible jail term of one to six years.

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A 2017 state law makes it illegal in some instances for parents to allow a child to possess a firearm. Section 7 of the law states that a parent or guardian can be guilty of the crime if they "knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly permit the child to possess a firearm while aware of a substantial risk that the child will use the firearm to commit a felony; and failing to make reasonable efforts to prevent the use of a firearm by the child to commit a felony; or when the child has been convicted of a crime of violence or has been adjudicated as a juvenile for an offense that would constitute a crime of violence if the child were an adult."

Baker was arrested at his home the afternoon of Oct. 27 and taken to the Monroe County Jail and held on $5,500 bond. Allen was arrested the next day on one count of dangerous control of a child. Her bond was set at $5,500.

Bloomington police have been called to the residence two times for reports of shots being fired.

One instance was on Oct. 4, when the 16-year-old called 911 around 5 p.m. to report a vehicle had driven by his Rockport Road house and someone in the car had fired a gun in his direction. A bullet hit and damaged the house. A woman driving a U-Haul truck said her vehicle was hit by a bullet as well.

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This article originally appeared on The Herald-Times: Winslow Plaza shooting incident leads to charges for Bloomington parents