By Brad Segall
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — Armed with more than three dozen warrants, sheriff’s deputies in Montgomery County hit the streets early Tuesday morning looking for parents who owe thousands in back child support payments.
That early morning knock on the door woke 18 people out of a deep sleep. Fourteen men and four women who have been notified more than once they owe money, but failed to pay. They were hauled off to court where a judge will set an amount for them to pay up or send them off to jail.
“What we are able to do in this situation is get that immediate relief for these families that have been going without because they are refusing to pay,” says Rebecca Colantuno, with the county Domestic Relations Office, “and they are under the radar and they not working jobs that are attachable through our wage attachment orders.”
The 18 taken into custody owe about $179,000 for 25 children.
There was one incident where a deputy was struck. Additional charges are likely there.
Sheriff Eileen Behr believes these early morning raids send a clear message to parents who don’t meet their obligations.
“Sometimes maybe we’re hoping we inspire them to reach out and contact Domestic Relations and work out some kind of agreement to come in and basically answer to the warrant,” she says, “or try to make some kind of arrangements to pay.”
Officials say there were 275 outstanding warrants in the Montgomery County as of Tuesday. Five people have since turned themselves in.