Teen charged with rioting at Freddie Gray march released on $500,000 bail

"Many from around the country and the world are supporting this young man," lawyer says

Allen Bullock, the 18-year-old accused of smashing a traffic cone through the windshield of a car last month, was released from jail Thursday on a $500,000 bail — higher than the six police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray.

Bullock is charged with eight counts, including rioting and malicious destruction of property stemming from a protest that turned violent downtown on April 25. He was released after his family was able to raise money from around the world, according to his attorney Brandon Mead.

"He's got a very stable two-parent home," Mead said. "He’s got a ton of family support. He’s got a ton of community support. Many from around the country and the world are supporting this young man."

Bullock's parents encouraged him to turn himself in after seeing images of him in the media, they said.

“He turned himself in. That’s not even right,”  said Maurice Hawkins, who is engaged Bullock’s mother. “They are trying to make an example out of him. They are trying to say my son started it. He’s 18 years-old. He’s just a teenager.” 

Hawkins said the family had previously not been able to get him out of jail due to the high bail.

“He’s doing OK. He’s taking one day at a time. There’s nothing he can do. That’s a ransom. That’s a high bail,” he said during a phone interview earlier this week.

The online fundraising site, life.indiegogo.com, shows that 345 people have donated $8,800 toward Bullock's release.

While Hawkins said the family is still trying to get the amount lowered, they acknowledge Bullock was wrong and must be held accountable for his actions.

“He got himself in this hot water. He’s got to be patient. He made a mistake,” Hawkins said. He said his fiance, Bullock’s mother, Bobbie Smallwood, blames herself for what happed.

“She’s stressing but there’s nothing she can do about it,” Hawkins said. “She is getting along but she is missing her son though. She feels like it's her fault.”

Hawkins said Bullock had lived in foster care but his mother got him back. He said Bullock just turned 18 in January and is working to get his GED.

On April 25, he said the couple was getting ready for bed when the teen returned to the family’s Brooklyn rowhouse.  The couple asked him why he was getting home late and told him he was on the news.  

“We saw him on top of police cars,” Hawkins said, and told Bullock, “you know you are going to jail, right?”

Hawkins said Bullock said he realized he was wrong and planned to turn himself in.

“He said he acted out on his emotions,” Hawkins said. He said Bullock shouldn’t have vandalized the police cars but said the family has been blamed for violence and rioting that occurred later on Monday, and he feels the issue of police brutality has been lost. 

“They are trying to make it seem like it was his fault. People have their own mind and own actions to control,” he said. “They are trying to take the focus off Freddie Gray and put it on my son.”

Six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray have been released on bails of $350,000 or $250,000. One of the officers is charged with second-degree depraved heart murder, which carries a 30-year sentence.  

Mead said Bullock's parents have faced backlash for encouraging him to turn himself in.

"She’s said she’s had things thrown at her house, people yelling at her for turning him in," Mead said of Bullock’s mother.

State Del. Jill P. Carter, a Baltimore Democrat, met with Bullock upon his release.

"I think the $500,000 he’s released on is an example of the arbitrary and capricious nature of our bail system," she said. "It’s an example of the grave disparities in our justice system."

lbroadwater@baltsun.com

Twitter.com/lukebroadwater

 

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