TONTITOWN, Ark. (TCD) — A 40-year-old man faces false imprisonment and other charges for allegedly hiding his daughter in a confined space in his closet because he did not want her to be taken into state custody.
According to an incident report cited by KNWA/KFTA-TV, on Nov. 2, Tontitown Police Department officers went to Jon Thompson’s parents’ home because the Arkansas Department of Human Services requested help to bring a 5-year-old girl into their custody. Thompson reportedly did not allow officers inside the home for several minutes, but he later granted them access to the home.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports Washington County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Durrett reportedly said when officers went inside, they “found the child inside a cut out portion of a closet.”
Body cam footage shared by KFSM-TV shows Thompson sifting through items in his closet and moments later, pulling a child out from the wall.
He was arrested on charges of false imprisonment, endangering the welfare of a minor, interference with custody, and possession of body armor.
An officer reportedly wrote in the incident report that Thompson needed to “pull a board that was nailed to the wall” to get his daughter out, according to the report cited by CNN. A second officer described the confined area as a “small possibly 6-foot by 4-foot space that was cut inside the master bedroom closet wall.”
The little girl was reportedly in the closet for about half an hour “without being able to leave on her own will.”
CNN reports the officer wrote in the report the girl was “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 space was also described as a “triangle-shaped void,” according to KFSM.
Thompson was booked into the Washington County Jail and later released on bond.
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