Mother claims man pulled gun on son over balloon

April 18, 2012 2:15:56 PM PDT
A homeowner faces charges after a 12-year-old boy's mother said he pulled a gun on her child when the boy got a balloon from the owner's open house sign.

"And that brings tears to my eyes, he had a 9 mm pointed at my baby over a balloon," said Tonya Yates.

According to a police report, the incident happened Sunday afternoon, as Yates' son and a friend walked home.

"They were walking down the street when an adult came up and pointed a gun at them," said Gavin MacRoberts, with the Fayetteville Police Department. "There was some disagreement or confrontation over a balloon taken by the resident."

That resident, Caleb Barrieau, told police he confronted the boys over the balloon but did not point a gun at them.

Alan Rogers, the Yates family lawyer, called the incident outrageous.

"We see the incident in Florida with Trayvon Martin," said Rogers. "We see two kids, 12-years-old, being stalked by someone over balloons and pulled a weapon on them, scarred these kids for life."

Rogers said the boys found the balloons in the street. Police said Barrieau told them that the boys took the balloons from signs in front of his home.

A magistrate issued misdemeanor warrants for Barrieau on charges of communicating threats, assault by pointing a gun and simple assault.

Barrieau had no comment when ABC11 asked him to tell his side of the story.

Barrieau's case is set for April 30. Until then, Yates' lawyer hopes to convince the district attorney to further investigate and file additional charges.

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