Man arrested for using BB gun on boy, September 13, 2010

LEESBURG, Fla. (WOFL, FOX 35) - A Central Florida man was arrested Saturday after sheriff’s investigators said he used BB gun to motivate a boy under the age of 16 to perform wind sprints.

Robert Barker, 41, was charged with child abuse after investigators said neighbors saw the man forcing the boy to run wind sprints while he fired a BB gun at him.

The boy’s exact age and relationship to Barker aren’t being disclosed in order to protect the boy’s identity.

According to the arrest report someone phoned 911 Saturday and reported seeing Barker shooting at the boy. The anonymous caller added that the boy was being forced to perform the wind sprints because he had failed to finish playing in a school football game earlier in the day.

Lake County deputies responded to the Leesburg address and Barker admitted that he had forced the boy to run the sprints because he was out of shape. The boy was also forced to wear full football gear during the sprints.

Barker said that he used the BB gun for motivation but never actually fired it at the boy but up in the air. Barker said the boy had suffered a concussion a few weeks prior but had been cleared to play. During the game Saturday, the boy complained that he was feeling dizzy and the coach decided to bench him.

According to the report, the boy said he never actually saw Barker point the gun at him while he completed the 10 sprints.

The heat index in Leesburg was 107 degrees at the time of the incident, the report said.

Barker was arrested and charged with child abuse and aggravated assault with a weapon. He was booked into the Lake County Jail but has since bonded out.

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