A Janesville man will make his initial court appearance Monday on recklessly endangering safety charges that accuse him of pulling a gun on a family and their dog on the Ice Age Trail—something he disputes.
Robert T. Baker, 73, of 2003 Ice Age Way, faces three counts of second-degree recklessly endangering safety and one count of disorderly conduct, all with use of a dangerous weapon.
Rock County prosecutors and police have said Baker on June 14 pulled a gun on the family, which included a mother holding her 1-month-old baby, because the dog was not leashed.
Baker denied ever pulling the gun, according to the criminal complaint.
Janesville police responded to the Ice Age Trail near Arbor Ridge after the family reported that Baker pointed a gun at them, the complaint states.
The man told police his dog was off its leash when Baker pulled a gun from a holster, pointed the gun at the dog and said he would blow its head off if they did not put it on a leash, according to the complaint.
The man said he stood between his family and Baker and told him to put the gun away, the complaint states. The two then exchanged expletives.
When the man said he was calling police, Baker left, according to the complaint. The man said he had never seen Baker before.
With the help of golfers at Riverside Golf Course, police found Baker near the pavilion at the south entrance to Riverside Park. When an officer told him to stop, Baker asked, “Is this about the guy with the dog?” the complaint states.
When an officer put Baker into a squad car, Baker said the man was “lucky,” the complaint states. Baker told police he thought he was justified in shooting the man and/or his dog.
Baker said the dog was growling when it came at him, according to the complaint. He also said the man threatened him.
When police found Baker, he had a fully loaded 9-mm Ruger in his holster, the complaint states. One round was in the chamber and seven rounds were in the magazine.
Police reported that last year, Baker lost the same gun on the Ice Age Trail. Workers at the Centerway Dam found it a few days later, the complaint states.
Baker’s initial appearance is set for 1 p.m. Monday, July 20.