Police investigating the cellphone of an Indiana man arrested for trying to sell a gun to an undercover officer found a disturbing video Friday — of a baby playing with a .40 caliber handgun. Two videos discovered on 19-year-old Michael Barnes' cellphone showed a 1-year-old boy tinkering with the handgun as Barnes tells the child to say "pow," according to a statement from the Evansville Police Department.
Authorities didn't say if the gun was loaded. In the video, the infant can also be seen placing the muzzle of the weapon in his mouth. "At no point does Barnes try to stop the child from playing with the gun," police said.
Barnes was wanted for armed robbery when he attempted to sell a handgun to an undercover officer. He was arrested and charged with resisting law enforcement with a weapon, carrying a handgun without a permit and carrying a handgun without a permit within 500 feet of a school, according to Evansville police. Once investigators found the video of the child playing with the gun, Barnes was charged with child neglect, criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon and allowing a child to possess a firearm, police said.
The baby's mother, Toni Wilson, 22, faces the same charges after police determined she was present while the videos were being recorded. When questioned, she claimed the gun was a pellet gun, police said.
The couple's 1-month-old twins were removed from the home and are in emergency care, along with the 1-year-old in the video. Barnes is the father of the twins, but not the older baby boy, police said.
— Elisha Fieldstadt