Photos Of 6-Year-Old Holding Handgun Gets Felon Arrested
PALM BAY, Fla. -- A convicted felon was arrested in Palm Bay after allegedly putting a gun in a 6-year-old child's hands and forcing her to pose for pictures.
Investigators said 30-year-old Toby Allen took the disturbing photos on a cell phone. They finally tracked him down at a house in Palm Bay on Tucson Street (see map), where they arrested Allen and one of his roommates, 26-year-old Paul Rosaci.
Her face is blocked out to protect her identity, but police said it's a 6-year-old girl in the flower print shirt holding a handgun that seems disturbingly large for her small hands. In a second picture, she's pointing the same gun right at the camera with her finger on the trigger.
"It's alarming to us that we had such a young child brandishing a handgun," said Det. Steve Hill, Palm Bay Police Department.
Investigators with the Palm Bay Police Department and the Brevard County Sheriff's Office said Allen took the photos, including two more of himself holding an SKS assault rifle. Detectives said the pictures came from a cell phone stolen from the owner of a local landscaping company where Allen recently worked.
The owner of the company was able to recover some of his stolen property, including the phone and contacted officers when he discovered the photos. By examining the background in the photos, police determined they were taken at the home on Tucson Street where officers arrested Allen Friday.
A man who still lives there talked to Eyewitness News about the photos Friday.
"I thought they were outrageous. I don't know why he did it," the unidentified man said. "I asked him what the hell he was thinking."
Police said the photos aren't enough to charge Allen with child endangerment, but they said the girl is safe and Allen, who has a long criminal history, is charged with being a felon in possession of a weapon.
"He indicated he thought it looked funny. He thought it looked cool," said Randy Holliday, Brevard county Sheriff's Office.
Police said they are not identifying the girl in the pictures or her relationship to Allen.