Maurice Hawkins, Allen Bullock's stepfather, comments on the recent sentencing of his stepson following missed court dates and a failure to notify his probation officer of a change in address. (Ulysses Muñoz / Baltimore Sun)
Allen Bullock, the young man who smashed an orange traffic cone through a car windshield in what became one of the indelible images of the 2015 Baltimore unrest, has received a four-year sentence for violating his probation on the riot charge.
Bullock, now 20, violated his probation when he failed to make court appearances, meet with his probation officer and notify the officer that his address had changed, according to a court recording of the proceeding.
Bullock, who was arrested June 5 on a warrant, explained the reasons for his missed appearances and meetings in court Tuesday.
"Since my mother put me out, I was just coming from the system so I ain't really have no transportation, no family, no way to call or nothing," Bullock told Baltimore Circuit Judge Charles J. Peters.
Assistant State's Attorney Mark Jaskulski asked Peters to impose a sentence of 11 1/2 years, which was the portion of Bullock's original sentence that was suspended last year.
"The defendant had not taken probation seriously from the beginning," Jaskulski said.
Bullock was "given an opportunity," he said.
Bullock was charged after a downtown protest on April 25, 2015, that followed the death of Freddie Gray. Gray died of injuries suffered while in police custody.
Bullock pleaded guilty in February 2016 to charges of rioting and malicious destruction of property.
Peters sentenced Bullock to 12 years, with all but six months suspended. He was placed on five years' probation after serving the six months, during which time he has agreed to complete 400 hours of community service and earn a high school equivalency certificate, or GED.
Bullock violated the terms of his probation when he failed to report to his probation officer twice in September 2016, Jaskulski said.
He also failed to appear in Frederick County court on Aug. 29, 2016, and March 17, 2017, for two pending charges of second-degree assault that occurred on Oct. 3, 2015, Jaskulski said.
When Bullock's probation officer attempted to conduct a home visit, Jaskulski said, the officer went to Bullock's mother's home in the 800 block of Bridgeview Road in Cherry Hill, but he was not there.
His mother told the agent that her son was no longer living there, and Bullock had failed to report the address change, also violating the terms of his probation, the prosecutor said.
"As a mother, it hurt me real bad that it went down like that," Bullock's mother, Bobbie Smallwood said in an interview Wednesday.
After a dispute between her and Bullock, Smallwood said, her son moved in with his girlfriend and was helping to raise his child.
Bullock's public defender, Dana Karangelen, said in court that her client has been working at a South Baltimore car wash and was planning to enroll at the South Baltimore Learning Center, a nonprofit adult literacy organization, to earn his GED.
Peters asked Bullock why he didn't call the probation office to check in, and Bullock told him he didn't have a phone to call the office. The judge also asked Bullock why he didn't walk to the office, but Bullock said was too far away.
Peters then sentenced Bullock to 11 1/2 years, with all but four years suspended.
Smallwood said she is strugglingwith the fact that her son is now going to prison.