Port Neches man who reportedly open carried weapon to pep rally bonds out

Published 12:28 am Wednesday, November 1, 2023

PORT NECHES — A Port Neches man who reportedly open carried a gun into a high school pep rally has since bonded out of jail.

James Baker, 21, was arrested on a charge of carrying a weapon in a prohibited place Friday with bond set at $10,000. He bonded out the next day, according to information from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Carrying a weapon in a prohibited place is a felony crime.

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Police said a parent at the Mid County Madness pep rally at Port Neches-Groves High School saw the man with a holstered firearm and alerted a school resource officer.

Port Neches Police Chief Cheri Griffith said the man was taken into custody without incident and brought to the police station before heading to the Jefferson County Correctional Facility.

“It is my understanding, and the school’s, that there was no malicious intent,” Griffith said.

Baker is a Port Neches-Groves High School graduate.

Law enforcement took the incident seriously, and Griffith said “if you are going to carry, you need to know the law.”

Assistant Chief David Reeves said with all that is going on around the country with shootings; police try to be extra vigilant.

Once the case is completed it will be submitted to the District Attorney’s office.