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

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."

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