Local News

More than 30 Arrested in Deadbeat Round-Up

Posted May 15, 1998

— Hundreds of thousands of parents in North Carolina aren't paying to take care of their children. The state is cracking down on deadbeats. Cumberland County just conducted a massive sweep, rounding up dozens of people.

Child support caseworkers say round-ups really help and the numbers reflect that. Arrest warrants were issued for 65 parents who owe child support Friday. As of this report, 33 had been picked up.

One of those 33 agreed to talk with us if WRAL didn't reveal his identity. We'll call him Bill. Bill owes $16,000 for a daughter he doesn't believe is his. He says his arrest came as a big surprise to his new family.

"They came at night, and it totally startled my wife," Bill says. "Startled me too. But it was totally expected. I don't feel like a criminal. I just feel like a statistic."

Bill admits he made a mistake by not paying, and he's given $1,000 of what he owes. He's paid $600 for a blood test to prove whether or not the child in question is his. Bill says when he was living alone, he didn't mind the trouble he got in for not paying child support. But his new family has changed his outlook.

"But when you get other people, when you re-marry and get a wife, the best thing to do is go ahead and do what they say," Bill explains. "Keep the faith and hope that it will be resolved in time."

Regardless of whether or not the child is his, Bill says he will continue to make his $400 monthly payments until the test results come in. He doesn't want to be known as a deadbeat dad.

The people arrested so far in the round-up owe a total of $250,000


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