LINCOLNTON, N.C. – Deputies say an impaired man broke into his neighbor’s home while caring for his infant child, then passed out in a nearby field.
Clarence Barnette was arrested Friday morning after police say he ransacked his neighbor’s home on Maiden Highway in Lincolnton, stealing a gun, cash, jewelry, prescription pills, phones and two Teddy Bears.
"He fired some shots in the house and he had to have had the baby inside the house with him," said Thomas Schaeffer who lives two houses from Barnette, and next door to the victim. Schaeffer said the victim's housekeeper arrived right after Barnette left. "...housekeeper found the gun."
Deputies arrived at the home around 9:30 a.m. and found the door had been kicked in.
“They found the revolver discarded in the driveway and neighbors told officers they saw Barnette leaving the area of the house and walking south on the Maiden Highway,” said the Sheriff’s Office in a statement. Neighbors said that they saw Barnette walking along the highway with his 20 month old daughter following behind him.
"I seen ray with his around two year old little girl and they were walking along and she was about three feet behind him," said Schaeffer who did not know what was going on, but was cornered when he saw Barnette near neighbor's house "by the time I got my pants on they were already in my neighbors yard."
Barnette was found about 50 yards off Maiden Highway and was passed out with his 20-month-old child by his side, officials say.
Barnette is charged with felony breaking and entering, larceny, possession of stolen goods, child abuse and failure to appear. He was placed behind bars on a $17,500 bond.
"I just hope that that 20-month-old is put in a family that's going to take care of her or that the mother gets treatment and gets away from him." said Schaeffer.