By Jon Swaine, Oliver Laughland, Paul Lewis and Mae Ryan
Allen Bullock was charged with eight criminal counts, including rioting and malicious destruction of property, after arriving at Baltimore’s juvenile justice centre with his stepfather, Maurice Hawkins, who said he saw television footage of Bullock’s actions on Saturday.
Hawkins, 44, said Bullock had agreed to surrender to the police after being told by his stepfather the police would “find him, knock down our door and beat him” if he did not.
“By turning himself in he also let me know he was growing as a man and he recognised what he did was wrong,” Hawkins said on Wednesday at his home in a low-income block in south Baltimore. “But they are making an example of him and it is not right.”
“As parents we wanted Allen to do the right thing,” said Bobbi Smallwood, Bullock’s mother, who wept and dabbed her eyes. “He was dead wrong and he does need to be punished. But he wasn’t leading this riot. He hasn’t got that much power.”
“It is just so much money,” Smallwood, 43, said of the bail sum of $500,000. “Who could afford to pay that?” Hawkins said the total exceeded the bonds placed on some accused murderers in Baltimore. Smallwood added: “If they let him go he could at least save some money and pay them back for the damage he did.”