Austin man reportedly left children alone, stove on

Published 4:10 pm Saturday, August 17, 2013

AUSTIN — Charges allege a 24-year-old Austin man left two young children alone at home with a stove burner on while he went drinking. The court complaint also alleged a loaded gun was on an upstairs bedroom floor.

Luke Paul Bakke made his first appearance in Mower County District Court Thursday for two gross misdemeanor charges of child neglect. According to the court complaint, the children were 6 months and 21 months old.

Police went to the 1000 block of 13th Avenue Southwest on July 21, where the mother reported she was locked out of the house while her children were inside. The woman left the home after arguing with Bakke, according to the complaint. She said when she returned, Bakke was gone.

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The officer reportedly entered the house through the a window and found the 21-month-old crying on the floor and the 6-month-old asleep in a crib. The complaint states the stovetop was “red hot,” and a loaded rifle lay upstairs on the floor of a child’s bedroom. The officer reportedly removed two more rifles, two shotguns and two BB guns from another bedroom.

Police arrested Bakke, reportedly drunk, after he returned to the home later that night.