Arkansas Man Arrested After Hiding 5-Year-Old Daughter From Cops To Prevent DHS From Taking Her
The father maintains that he loves his daughter.
A man was arrested in Arkansas after being accused of hiding his daughter behind a wall so she wouldn’t be taken away from him by state workers.
According to CNN, 40-year-old Jon Thompson was arrested on Friday, Nov. 4, and charged with false imprisonment, endangering the welfare of a minor, and interfering with child custody. After posting a $5,000 bond, he was released on Sunday, Nov. 6.
On Nov. 1, police officers in Tontitown, Arkansas, went to the Thompson residence to assist workers from the Department of Human Services in taking his daughter out of the home so they could place her in the custody of the state. When police officers went to his home, Thompson would not allow them in and kept telling them that his daughter wasn’t in the residence. After more than an hour, Thompson relented and then took the officers to a closet located in the master bedroom where he had his daughter hidden.
Thompson then moved some items under a clothes rack in the closet. The father “had to pull a board that was nailed to the wall” so the officers could reach his daughter, who was in a small space that may have been about 6 feet by 4 feet inside the master bedroom closet wall. The rescue of the young girl was captured on police body-cam.
Keith Lindley, a detective on the scene, stated, “There are some law enforcement encounters that stick with us over the maturity of our careers – some images and scenes are just tattooed into our permanent consciousness. This is one of those times. It’s sad. It makes us sad, but we are relieved she is safe.”
The 5-year-old girl was to become a ward of the state because her father was accused of keeping her locked in a “confined space for approximately 30 minutes without being able to leave of her own will.” The officer maintained that the little girl– though she felt uneasy–said it was a one-time occurrence, and her dad had given her a candle for light in the confined space.
“The juvenile discusses being afraid to go inside the hole in the wall, but that her dad wanted her to do so and told her if she did not go inside, she would be taken away from him,” the report said.
The media outlet reached out to Thompson, and he said, “For the record – I love my daughter,” and told CNN to speak to his attorney.
Thompson is slated to appear for a court date on Dec. 4.