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Mother jailed after alleged child assault
Sep 13, 2004 12:00 am
Two children ages 9 and 11 are in protective custody and their mother behind bars after she allegedly "held a gun to their heads" before a tense standoff with officers.
The incident occurred at the Dyer Lane home of Patricia Fleming, 53, who remained in custody yesterday in the Wilson County Jail.
Fleming was charged with aggravated domestic assault in the alleged incident, which ended peacefully after her home was surrounded by members of the Wilson County Sheriff's Department Special Response Team.
"From all the information we have, and we have no reason to believe this didn't occur, she held a gun to their heads," Sheriff Terry Ashe said.
He said the children were unharmed after fleeing to the home of a neighbor, who contacted authorities about the incident.
The suspect "retreated into her home" as the SRT unit arrived, creating a brief standoff that ended with Fleming's surrender a short while later, Ashe said.
"The SRT team did an exceptional job of getting out there and securing the area. It was our understanding there were some other weapons in the home and it was a situation that could have ended up going out of control," the sheriff said.
He said authorities had few details about what led the woman to pull a gun on her two children, who have been turned over to the state Department of Children's Services.
"She's apparently dealing with some other issues in her life, but that's about all we can say about it," Ashe remarked.
He said local officers were unfamiliar with Fleming and that there have apparently been no past complaints about her behavior toward her children.
"As far as I know, there have been no reports of any past problems out there, at least not any we're aware of at this point," the sheriff said Friday.
He said that while weapons were found inside the home the .22-caliber pistol the suspect allegedly held to the heads of her two children has not yet been found.
"She's admitted having it but this is a rural area that's dark, heavily wooded, and she threw it out somewhere and we just haven't been able to find it yet," Ashe said.
A court date for Fleming was still pending as of Friday. She remained in custody under $10,000 bond.
Senior Staff Writer Brooks Franklin can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 14 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.