A standoff between Liberty County sheriff’s deputies and a Dayton resident began around 8:30 p.m. Monday and ended at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday with the woman’s arrest.
The standoff began after the woman, identified as Claudia Carlton, 65, of Dayton, reportedly fired upon a sheriff’s deputy who was at her house on the 1400 block of CR 401 regarding an animal cruelty investigation.
“There was a dead donkey in her driveway. He had gone to inquire about the donkey and see if there was a resolution for removing it,” said Sgt. Travis Pierce, a spokesperson for the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office. “The deputy was in a clearly marked patrol vehicle, in a clearly marked uniform and identified himself as a sheriff’s deputy. He hadn’t even made it past her gate when she started shooting at him from her porch.”
The deputy retreated and called for backup. Due to the nature of the incident and the woman’s alleged history, a decision was made to deploy the LCSO Special Response Team, similar to a SWAT unit. They set up a staging area at the corner of CR 401 and CR 4014. From there, the SRT team drove an MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) truck through the woman’s gate and onto her property.
After hours of unsuccessful negotiations by trained hostage negotiators from the Liberty County Attorney’s Office, deputies began moving toward the home. They fired irritant gas canisters into the home, but the woman never exited. At that point, they deployed a flash bang device into the home and then entered the home. Carlton was found standing in her bedroom doorway, said Pierce, seemingly unaffected by the irritant gas canisters.
Deputies recovered the handgun they believe was used to fire at the deputy, Pierce said.
Carlton was taken into custody without further incident. She has been charged with Aggravated Assault of a Public Servant and Cruelty to Livestock. She is being held in the Liberty County Jail. Her total bonds are set at $305,000.
Her previous history of arrests includes:
- Oct. 2009 – Disorderly Conduct
- Jan. 2016 – Disorderly and Interference with Public Duties
- Sept. 2016 – Assault on a Public Servant and Disorderly Conduct
Mont Belvieu PD, Texas Rangers, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Chambers County Sheriff’s Office and Liberty County District Attorney’s Office also assisted at the scene.