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Riverdale man faces cruelty, deprivation changes

Photo by Hugh Osteen

Photo by Hugh Osteen

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

A Riverdale man allegedly deprived children -- with whom he reportedly lived -- "of necessary sustenance, to the extent that their health and well-being was jeopardized," according to a Sept. 27, 2010 police report on seemingly squalid living conditions at a home on Beaver Trail, in Riverdale.

As a result of those conditions, according to the police report, and a warrantless arrest affidavit, Harlan Tracy Bibbs was arrested on that day, on charges of alleged child cruelty, and deprivation.

A Clayton County grand jury indicted Bibbs, 48, on Thursday, on five counts each of "cruelty to children" and "contributing to the deprivation of a child." In all, the indictment accuses Bibbs of cruelty to, and the deprivation of, five children.

The affidavit for his arrest identifies one of the children as Bibbs' 13-year-old daughter, but none of the court, or police documents, explains his relationship to the other children, or gives their ages.

The police report says the state's Department of Family and Children's Services (DFCS) had been contacted about the living conditions at the home.

Clayton County Police Officer Sabriya Rainey described the conditions in the home as being "unfit" for children. "A referral had been made to [DFCS], they called and requested an officer to respond, and they advised that they were enroute to that location," Rainey wrote in her report. "Officers arrived, and discovered that the living conditions at this location were deplorable, and unfit for the children."

Bibbs' case has been assigned to Clayton County Superior Court Judge Albert Collier, according to online court records. The online records do not yet show, however, when Bibbs' next court appearance will be.

His attorney, Christine Van Dross, could not be reached for comment on Friday.

Overall, Rainey described, in the police report and arrest affidavit, a scene in which proper hygiene was not practiced, and where the children allegedly slept in the midst of dirty clothes, and went hungry while food rotted in the home.

"There were not any beds in the home, and the children slept on the floor, on top [of] soiled/dirty clothes," Rainey wrote. "There was not a sufficient amount of food in the home, and the children complained of being hungry. There was rotten food in the refrigerator, and roaches throughout the home.

"The children also had not received proper care with regards to their hygiene, and they all had very strong odors as if they had not bathed in a long time," Rainey wrote.

A Sept. 28, 2010 bond order shows that Bibbs was granted a $15,000 bond by Clayton County Magistrate Court Judge Richard Brown, but there was a stipulation that he could not have any unsupervised contact with one of the children

The police report from Bibbs' arrest shows the children were taken into DFCS custody on the night of the arrest. An official at the Clayton County Jail said Bibbs was no longer in the jail's custody, but could not specify when he was released.