It was a tense scene off County Line Road (CR 401) on Monday night as law enforcement engaged in a several-hour standoff with a Dayton woman.
The incident began after a Liberty County Sheriff’s Deputy arrived at 1449 CR 401 south of Dayton at the home of Claudia Carlton, 61, regarding an animal cruelty investigation over a reported dead donkey in the woman’s yard.
According to LCSO Spokesman Capt. Billy Knox, the deputy, tried to contact the woman outside the home after law enforcement received a call around 7:30 pm.
“The deputy arrived and tried to get her attention when she muttered some words and went into the house and got a handgun and started firing,” said Knox.
At that point, the deputy called for assistance, and the neighboring Chambers County Sheriff’s Office responded and the woman began firing once more at deputies, said Knox.
Being familiar with who she was, deputies retreated and called for assistance. At this time, law enforcement agencies from Mont Belvieu, DPS, and local game wardens responded as Liberty County headed to the scene.
“She has a number of incidences of firing at law enforcement and individuals at her house,” said Knox.
At that time, travel to the area was blocked off, and neighbors were asked to keep out of the way.
Once local officials reached the scene, they took the lead on the investigation, and the LCSO Special Response Team assembled at the corner of FM 1409 and CR 401.
That unit loaded into an MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) truck around 10 pm before deploying to the scene.
The LCSO was assisted by the District and County Attorney’s offices and the Texas Rangers.
At about 1:50 am on Tuesday, the SRT Unit entered the home utilizing flash bang and smoke devices and took her into custody.
Carlton is charged with Aggravated Assault of a Public Servant and Cruelty to Livestock, with her total bonds set at $305,000.
Carlton has a previous arrest record:
Oct. 2009 – Disorderly Conduct
Jan. 2016 – Disorderly and Interference with Public Duties
Sept. 2016 – Assault on a Public Servant and Disorderly Conduct
Knox said that traffic in the area remained closed for about five hours.
“Luckily, there were no injuries to law enforcement,” concluded Knox.