DeKalb police lieutenant arrested on child cruelty charges

A DeKalb County police lieutentant was arrested this week on child cruelty charges, Henry County authorities said.

Lt. Willie Durrett was arrested Monday night after Henry County police responded to a domestic disturbance at a home in Stockbridge, Henry County police Capt. Jason Bolton said.

"Officers learned that Durrett was involved in an altercation with his 16-year-old daughter that had turned physical," Bolton said.

He said the girl reported that Durrett struck her several times with a fishing rod.

Bolton said Durrett, who was in uniform and on duty at the time of the incident, had gone to the house to give his son a birthday present.

"Durrett told officers that he tried to enter the house to speak with his daughter after she had disrespected him, and that she slammed the door on his arm," Bolton said.

"He then pushed the door open, causing her to fall back," Bolton said. "She then grabbed a fishing rod. Durrett said he took the rod from her and struck her with it."

The responding officers reported that the teen had lacerations on both arms and her lower back, Bolton said.

Durrett was arrested and charged with battery, cruelty to children 1st degree and cruelty to children 2nd degree.

DeKalb police placed Durrett on administrative leave, DeKalb police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said.

"The department takes these types of allegations very seriously," Parish said. "Any conduct unbecoming of an officer will not be tolerated."