A decision by a woman to not help authorities in their investigation against her alleged abuser had deputies contacting the Department of Children Services Wednesday evening on the child's behalf.
Newton County Sheriff's deputies were called to a home on Highway 162 from a man who said the people living in the home had been "yelling and screaming for hours." The witness told the deputies he heard glass breaking and a young child "start screaming like someone was hurting her."
Deputies knocked on the door to the home and when the woman answered it she reportedly asked "if Barney called." She was told that a concerned neighbor had called deputies and they asked her what was going on. She reportedly invited them in, saying "let me get my daughter, she can tell you everything."
When they entered they were alarmed by the loud screaming from the little girl. According to reports she was, "screaming so loud that is startled me and I thought someone was hurting her at that time." When they entered the room the child was in they found the girl under a table in the back corner with her knees pulled up to her chest and her hands over her ears screaming and crying.
She refused to come out for her mother, according to reports, and deputies got down on the floor and "informed her that I was a police officer and I was going to help her." A few moments later, the child crawled from under the table. She allegedly told deputies that "[her mother] and Barney were fighting and he pushed her [the mother] down and started breaking things."
The little girl started crying again and asking for her dog. According to reports the deputy went outside and got the child's dog. The girl then lay down with her dog and continued crying.
Deputies spoke with the child's mother next who reportedly told them she "just wanted everything to be over." She said she and Robert Barney Clay, Jr were arguing and he pushed her down and started throwing and breaking all the things her deceased mother had left to her.
"[She] was very upset and stated that it was her fault she should have just done what he asked and none of this would have happened," and that "...it only happened when she did something to make him mad."
The woman reportedly told deputies that she "is not going to leave him and didn't want to press charges." Despite deputies warning her she needed to do something before Clay turned his attentions to her daughter, the woman refused to fill out a witness statement and told deputies she was not going to help them.
Deputies talked to the little girl again who assured them Clay had never hurt her. However she did say he "hit her mom all the time," and that when they fought "it scares her and she goes and hides."
After warning the woman once more about keeping herself and her daughter in that type of situation, deputies notified DFACS to get them involved.
They found Clay at his workplace and arrested him there, charging him with Family Violence Act simple battery, cruelty to children and criminal trespass.