Officers went to the man’s home on White Court shortly before 10 p.m. to arrest him, but his wife said he wasn’t home, Athens-Clarke police said. As officers searched, the man’s young daughter told one of the officers, “Mommy locked Daddy in the closet,” according to police.
Homer Stephens Parham, 51, was found hiding on a ledge inside the closet and was arrested, police said.
Officers had tried to arrest the man earlier in the day but he eluded them. When a second attempt was made, an officer parked down the block from Parham’s home, walked up and saw the man talking to his wife in the kitchen, police said.
The officer made sure that Parham didn’t elude again by keeping his eye on the home’s doors until backup arrived.
When officers knocked on the door, Parham’s wife answered and insisted she hadn’t seen her husband all day, according to police.
The woman allowed officers to search the entire house, but they were unable to find Parham.
That’s when the man’s daughter pointed to a kitchen closet and said Parham was in there, according to police.
Officers had already checked the closet, but this time noticed there was a ledge near the closet’s ceiling.
The officers were unable to see that high, so one reached up with a cellphone and snapped a photograph that showed Parham balled up in the tiny space, police said.
Parham initially refused orders to come down, but he complied after an officer threatened to use pepper spray, according to police.
The report also didn’t say if the battery charge stemmed from a domestic violence incident, but Clarke County Superior Court records show that Parham has previously been charged with family violence crimes.
He has a case pending in Superior Court from an arrest in June, when he allegedly struck his wife in the face while driving in a car with an open container of alcohol, according to court records.
Parham’s daughter was in a car seat next to him as he fought with his wife, according to records.
The Athens-Clarke County solicitor general last month entered a seven-count accusation in State Court charging Parham with family-violence battery, reckless conduct, cruelty to children and other offenses.