Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Police were dispatched to the 100 block of Peach St. on July 15 just before 10:30 a.m. to investigate a report of a 12-year-old child who had barricaded himself in a bathroom. He told dispatchers his 19-year-old cousin was allegedly threatening to shoot him with a gun.
Officers DeCeault, Hoskins, DeVries and Corporal LoSchiavo responded.
Upon arrival, police established a perimeter around the home. According to their report, Corporal LoSchiavo and Officer DeCeault could hear yelling from inside the home and found the driveway door was unlocked.
Officers gained entry and discovered two very small children and a toddler standing in a living room, apparently very frightened, according to police. The children were removed from the home. Soon after, an adult subject came from the rear portion of the home into the living room. He was later identified as Gerald L. Barner, 19, 131 Peach St., Park Forest. Corporal LoSchiavo ordered Barner out of the home and handcuffed pending further investigation, according to police.
Officers then checked the interior of the home for any other persons. They located the 12-year-old child who had placed the call still hiding in the bathroom. He was visibly upset and crying, according to police.
During the interior check of the residence, Corporal LoSchiavo observed loose ammunition and drug paraphernalia in plain view in one of the bedrooms. This bedroom was later found to belong to Barner, according to police.
While waiting with Barner, Officer DeCeault observed Barner attempting to reach into his left front pants pocket is if to remove something. DeCeault checked the pocket and located a clear plastic bag containing a white rock-like substance, suspect cocaine. Also located in the same pocket was $580 in United States currency.
The juvenile related being confronted by Barner who accused him of "stealing my money." The youth also said that Barner used the term "drug money” during the accusation, according to police. The juvenile denied any knowledge of what Barner was talking about, and the argument escalated, according to police. Barner then allegedly punched the juvenile in the face and chest with a closed fist, according to police. The youth was able to grab a telephone and flee to the bathroom, where he locked himself inside and then called police. According to police, while waiting for their arrival, Barner allegedly attempted to get into the bathroom, yelling "I’m going to kill you!" And "I’m going to shoot your [expletive] ass!”
The owner of the property was contacted and responded to the residence. Informed by police that there might be a gun present at the residence, the owner signed a Permission to Search Form, and allowed the officers to check the home, according to police.
Some of the items police recovered from Barner’s bedroom included a .380 caliber bullet, a clear Ziploc bag containing a green plant material, suspect cannabis, a portable scale, $2000 in US currency, a black leather holster, a nylon holster, and numerous boxes of ammunition.
Police also recovered $19,730 in United States currency located in a closet in a leather purse, and a Glock .40 caliber pistol, loaded with one magazine containing 10 rounds of .40 ammunition, located in a child’s toy chest.
The owner of the property provided officers with a written acknowledgment that the money recovered did not belong to her and she did not know where it had come from, according to police.
Officers interviewed Barner the next day. According to police, Barner allegedly provided officers with a written statement admitting the cocaine, pistol, and drug paraphernalia were his, and that he had also punched the child during the argument. Barner’s version of events was consistent with the statements given by the juvenile. Barner allegedly told police that maybe if "he did a year or so" in jail, it might "straighten me out." According to officers, Barner was very forthcoming in the interview and thanked the officers for talking with him.
Barner was charged with one felony count of possession of a controlled substance, and misdemeanor charge of domestic battery, possession of a firearm with no FOID, and possession of cannabis.