Tahlequah Daily Press

January 16, 2013

Shots fired in dispute over baby

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — A dispute over which parent was going to take a 1-month-old infant ended this week in the arrest of a man who allegedly pulled a gun and fired several shots, then attacked the baby’s paternal grandmother as she held the child.

Aaron Bayless, 45, was arrested by Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies Sunday after the officers responded to a domestic situation on East 626 Road. Bayless is described as the boyfriend of the baby’s maternal grandmother.

The baby’s mother told Sheriff’s Deputy Charles Dreadfulwater she was trying to leave with the 1-month-old when she got into a dispute with the baby’s father, who didn’t want her to take the child. The incident took place at the home of the baby’s father.

Dreadfulwater then spoke to another woman – the baby’s paternal grandmother – who had blood on the side of her face. The baby’s father told deputies he was going to take the baby and leave with his mom because he didn’t want the baby’s mother to take the child. When he tried to leave, Bayless allegedly retrieved a gun and fired three or four shots into the ground.

The child’s father said he went to the other side of his truck and handed the baby to the child’s paternal grandmother, but Bayless allegedly attacked her with the gun, hitting her in the head and arm while she held the baby.

The baby’s mother told deputies Bayless shot the gun in an attempt to scare the baby’s father and paternal grandmother.

She and Bayless took the child away from its paternal grandmother after Bayless fired shots and a scuffle ensued, and they then locked themselves into a truck until deputies arrived.

Bayless was arrested and jailed at the Cherokee County Detention Center for feloniously pointing a firearm, reckless discharge of a firearm, assault and battery with a deadly weapon, and possession of a firearm in commission of a felony. He was held on a $20,000 bond.

Deputies said they retrieved several casings at the scene, along with magazines and the gun used in the incident.