Arab Police Encounter An “Unusual Arrest” – For More Than One Reason

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ARAB, Ala. (WHNT) -- A woman is facing a court referral from a Marshall County judge after Arab Police arrested her in what they call an "unusual arrest".

Arab police say they got a call about Tamsie Sparks on October 12th. Officers found her  naked and intoxicated inside a storage unit. Officers say Sparks told them she was homeless and had been living there for several days.

Officers say they tried to call Sparks' family members to take her in, but they say they couldn't accomplish that. They arrested Sparks for public intoxication.

Arab Police Assistant Chief Shane Washburn says an arrest like this one doesn't happen often in the city of Arab. However, he says the main reason behind that statement is aside from the unusual circumstances of Tamsie Sparks' arrest. "We normally don't deal with homeless individuals here in our city," Assistant Chief Washburn says.

He says the department has never really dealt with a large homeless population. "We've had occasions where there's been people traveling through that may not have had a place to stay for the night, or whatever reason," he says.

Assistant Chief Washburn says homeless individuals may travel to other cities where more shelters are available, rather than the smaller city of Arab.

He says when officers do come in contact with a homeless individual they'll call a neighboring shelter to come help them find a place to stay.

Right now Assistant Chief Washburn says Tamsie Sparks is adhering to a court referral. He describes that as a kind of probation which requires her to drug test regularly. "If her homeless situation continues we'll contact Red Cross or some other entity to try and help her out," he says.

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