Around 4:30 a.m. on May 30, deputies from Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call reporting a domestic dispute in Oolitic after the caller said a man and woman were yelling and throwing things in the apartment next door, WBIW reported.
Once at the scene, deputies talked to the male caller and could hear a man yelling in the apartment next door.
Officers then knocked on the door and a woman answered, officials said. The woman told police that 40-year-old Richard Pedro “was about to lose his mother and had been drinking,” WBIW reported.
The woman said her children, an 18-year-old and a 2-year-old, were locked in the bathroom and Pedro was trying to get into the bathroom and was beating on the bathroom door. Police said the woman told them she was trying to keep him out of jail so he could go to his mother’s funeral.
Once inside the apartment, officers said it had “been trashed,” and a table was tipped over and doors were off the hinges.
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Pedro told police he was trying to get into the bathroom to go to bed and see his kids. He also said he was about to lose his mother, had been drinking and only had one kidney, WBIW reported.
The suspect was detained and taken to a police vehicle, authorities said.
Police spoke with the woman again, who claimed Pedro grabbed her by the throat and left scratches on the side of her throat when he was attempting to get into the bathroom. She said she didn’t want Pedro to be taken to jail, but he needed to seek mental health help, WBIW reported.
The victim refused to continue to work with police and refused to allow them to take photos of her injuries.
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Pedro was transported to the Lawrence County Security Center, where he told police he was trying to go to bed but the woman was blocking the bathroom door and he asked her to move several times, but she refused.
He says he then started to beat the bathroom door, but claims he never touched the woman, WBIW reported.
Pedro was charged with domestic battery in the presence of a child under the age of 16, police said.
Officials said the Department of Child Services was alerted of the issue.
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