After he appeared in a picture on the front page of the Baltimore Sun as a participant in this week's riots, 18-year-old Allen Bullock decided to follow the advice of his parents and turn himself in to police.
But with his bail now set at $500,000, his mother regrets the move, and both parents are angry at the response from the authorities.
Bullock was pictured smashing the windscreen of a car with a traffic cone last Saturday, just days before a state of emergency was declared. He posted the picture on his Facebook page, saying it was for Freddie Gray.
When he saw Bullock’s picture in the paper, stepfather Maurice Hawkins said he should turn himself in to the police.
"By turning himself in, he also let me know he was growing as a man and he recognized what he did was wrong,” Hawkins said. “But they are making an example of him, and it is not right.”
“He’s not an evil child," Bullock’s mother, Bobbi Smallwood, told The Guardian. "He was really upset about them police just walking free.
"You gave my son half a million dollars bail for breaking a police window, and you gave those cops nothing -- nothing for murder? That’s crazy; that’s not fair.”
Bullock faces the prospect of an eight-year prison sentence, and his family has little hope of coming up with the bail to set him free in the meantime.
“It is just so much money,” Smallwood said. "Who could afford to pay that?"
Hawkins said the bonds for some accused murderers in Baltimore were less than the one set for his stepson.
Bullock was charged with eight criminal counts, including malicious damage to property and rioting.