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Man allegedly threatened kids, babysitter

Feb. 20, 2013 at 5:59 PM

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Bail has been set at $180,000 for a Florida man charged with using a gun to threaten his children and their babysitter.

Levar Dawson, 35, of Pompano Beach, appeared in court Tuesday, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported. A police report read in court said Dawson went to the apartment where the teenage babysitter was taking care of his children Monday evening and pulled out a handgun while he was talking to his daughter.

He was involved in a battle over child support, a sheriff's deputy said.

Dawson faces seven criminal charges, including domestic violence, aggravated assault with a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and aggravated child abuse with cruelty, his booking record shows.

He is also charged with burglary, resisting arrest and possession of marijuana.

"Pointing a gun at children and then the children knowing their father is going to shoot them is a form of torture," Judge John Jay Hurley said during Tuesday's hearing. "We know that torture can be physical and psychological."

Investigators say Dawson drove home and tried to talk a neighbor into hiding him after the babysitter locked him out of the apartment.

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