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Mesa police prevented access to home during child abuse investigation

Posted: 1:21 PM, Nov 28, 2016
Updated: 2016-11-28 15:26:19-05

Police investigating a child abuse report were prevented from entering a house by a man with a shotgun.

Court records show that a couple was arrested after one allegedly abused their 8-year-old child and the other refused to allow police to enter their home. 

Mesa police report that on November 16, they were called to an elementary school near Longmore Road and Southern Avenue for a reported child abuse.

School staff reported to police that a kindergarten child had bruises "up and down both of his arms" and a "large red contusion on his scalp."

The child at first said he got his injuries roughhousing with his siblings but later disclosed that his mother had hit him with an object. He also allegedly told school officials and police that he was "afraid to go home."

School staff reported that the child was accused of stealing and that his teacher alerted the child's mother. School staff said that "in the past, they did not contact the parents if there was a school incident due to the fact they had concerns about the victims' well-being."

Police say they contacted 31-year-old Tiffany Hickman, who denied causing the injuries but did say she spanked him on the child's behind for the incident at school. She also allegedly told police that "she has to teach her child a lesson...to make sure he knew right from wrong."

Police say they went to the home the next day to check on the child and were refused entry into the house. They say 30-year-old Delfonta Lewis Richmond yelled out of the door that he had a shotgun. After negotiations, Hickman and three children including the victim, came out of the home. Richmond also exited the home a short time later. Police say he had a gun in his waistband and was wearing a "tactical vest."

Police say they found multiple weapons inside the home at the time. 

Both Hickman and Richmond have been charged with child abuse.