Barry Robert Baker Jr appeared in court on Wednesday, shedding tears as he pleaded for mercy. Despite his emotional display, Judge William P Mahon of the Court of Common Pleas in Chester County, Pennsylvania remained resolute in his view of Barry Robert Baker’s character.
The Daily Local News reported the judge’s scathing words: “You are a bully. You are a predator. You are a coward. In my 18 years on the bench, I have never seen such clear evidence of someone’s moral compass being so askew.”
Barry Robert Baker was charged with assault and fleeing from the authorities. In Pennsylvania, the recommended sentence for these crimes is between three and 14 months in prison, along with six months of probation. However, in Barry Robert Baker’s case, the judge sentenced him to serve three to six years behind bars.
The tears shed by Barry Robert Baker in court were not enough to sway the judge’s decision, as the severity of the crime and the defendant’s character outweighed any show of remorse. The judge’s harsh words serve as a warning to those who engage in violent and cowardly behavior that their actions will have severe consequences.
According to prosecutors and law enforcement in the county, Barry Robert Baker Jr got what he deserved. The incident that led to his sentencing began in the early hours of May 10 and quickly became a viral sensation, sparking outrage on social media.
Barry Robert Baker and his friends were hanging out outside a 7-Eleven store in West Chester, Pennsylvania, around 2:30 a.m. when a young man with cerebral palsy parked his SUV and entered the store. While the man was inside, Baker started making fun of his disability, mimicking the way he walked. When the man emerged from the store, Baker continued his cruel behavior, making fun of his movements. Then, without warning, Barry Robert Baker delivered a sucker-punch to the young man’s face while he stood in front of his white SUV.
Immediately after the assault, Baker fled the scene, disappearing around the corner of the store. The victim was left standing there, hands to his nose, as blood dripped onto his fingers. The attack was captured on security cameras, and the footage was uploaded to YouTube by the Chester County District Attorney’s Office.
The video quickly gained widespread attention, making headlines across the country and leading two state legislators to propose legislation that would classify such attacks as hate crimes.
In the end, justice was served as Barry Robert Baker was sentenced to three to six years in prison for his despicable actions. This case serves as a reminder that bullying, mocking, and physical violence towards those with disabilities will not be tolerated, and will be met with the full force of the law.
West Chester Police Chief Scott Bohn called Barry Robert Baker’s actions “appalling” in a statement, questioning what could motivate someone to treat another person so poorly. The incident involving Barry Robert Baker’s sucker-punch and mocking of a disabled man drew widespread condemnation, but the aftermath only made matters worse for him.
Once authorities issued warrants for his arrest and his story was widely publicized, Baker fled his home, becoming a fugitive from justice. He went on the run for two weeks, with rumours circulating that he had fled to Florida.
During that time, Barry Robert Baker’s fiancee helped him evade authorities by purchasing a hotel room under a friend’s name and leaving a key for him at a pre-arranged spot. She also bought a prepaid cellphone for Baker to use while on the lam, according to the district attorney’s office.
Barry Robert Baker was eventually apprehended on June 5, hiding in the bathroom of the rented hotel room by US Marshals. Investigators found evidence in his phone records of his attempts to evade law enforcement, including searches for “how do cops ping a cellphone” and “how to change my personal name,” as well as searches for Greyhound bus services and Amtrak train schedules to destinations as far away as Canada and Mexico.
On June 27, Barry Robert Baker’s fiancee, Denise Schmidt, was arrested and charged with hindering apprehension. That same day, Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced that Baker’s father, Barry Baker Sr., was among 46 people charged in “Operation Wildfire,” a major drug bust, accused of selling morphine.
Hogan pointed out the irony of the situation, saying, “While his son was beating up a man with a disability, Barry Baker Sr. was selling us morphine. It’s quite a family.” These events highlight the lengths some people will go to avoid facing the consequences of their actions, and the interconnectedness of criminal activity within families.
The series of events that followed Baker’s “unprovoked attack” only further compounded the severity of his case, as described by Chester County District Attorney, Tom Hogan.
The defendant was charged with assault, had his parole revoked, went on the lam, was ultimately caught, and charged with flight. His fiancee was arrested for aiding him in his escape, and his father, who had been selling morphine, was also taken into custody.
Hogan summed up these events by highlighting that this is how law enforcement in Chester County deals with individuals who bully and attack the disabled. Barry Robert Baker Jr subsequently pled guilty to charges of simple assault and fleeing to evade arrest in September.
During an interview with Daily Local News reporter Michael Rellahan at Chester County Prison, Baker had a different version of events regarding the sucker punch that prosecutors had described. According to Baker, he had been out at bars in West Chester before the assault and had met the 22-year-old man he would later punch. He said the man was behaving inappropriately around a woman, and he told him, “Don’t do that. It’s disrespectful,” as he recounted to Rellahan.
However, the man responded by saying, “Who do you think you are, Dr. Phil?”
Barry Robert Baker claimed he later encountered the man outside the 7-Eleven store. “He was running his mouth, and said, ‘Oh, look, it’s Dr. Phil again.’ I imitated how he walked,” Baker admitted, “which was wrong of course.”
“That’s when I let my anger get the best of me,” Baker told the Daily Local News. He expressed regret and apologized for his behavior, saying that he was mad at himself for acting that way. Despite this, Baker claimed that “this has all been blown all the way out of proportion.”
During his court appearance on Wednesday, Barry Robert Baker expressed his desire to regain his life, stating, “I want my life back. This will affect me for the rest of my life. I just want a chance to rebuild it.” However, his lawyer came to his defense by explaining that Baker was remorseful and grew up in a dysfunctional home, with his mother passing away due to a drug overdose and his father having a substance abuse problem.
The lawyer also noted that Baker was drunk on the night of the assault and mistook the disabled man for someone with whom he had a previous altercation.
Despite the lawyer’s defense, Judge Mahon sentenced Baker to a term of one to two years in a state prison for the charges. Additionally, Barry Robert Baker received another term of one to two years for violating his probation from a 2009 theft case, resulting in a total sentence of three to six years behind bars.
The Daily Local News reported that Judge Mahon criticized Barry Robert Baker for misrepresenting himself in court, stating, “I’ve been on the bench for 18 years, and I’ve never had someone misrepresent to me, and be caught doing it, as you. You have extreme difficulty with the truth.”
In conclusion, the case of Barry Baker highlights the consequences of bullying and assault, especially when directed towards a vulnerable individual. Despite his attempt to justify his actions, Baker was held accountable for his behavior and faced the legal consequences of his actions.
Barry Robert Baker’s attempt to evade arrest and the subsequent charges against his fiancee and father further demonstrate the negative ripple effects that such behavior can have on those associated with the offender. This case serves as a reminder that violence and mistreatment towards others will not be tolerated in society and that justice will be served.