Husband threatens to blow up home, family
by Wes Mayer
A man suspected of attacking his son with a knife and threatening to harm himself and his family was arrested by Coweta County authorities Monday.
Around 1 a.m. Monday, deputies responded to the 100-block of Fisher Way in reference to a man threatening to blow up the home, said Lt. Col. Jimmy Yarbrough with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office. There, deputies met with the victims outside the home, but the suspect, Robert Stephen Whitehead, 50, remained inside.
According to Yarbrough, there were multiple domestic disputes recently reported at the residence, and Whitehead and his wife allegedly lived in separate bedrooms; their son, his girlfriend and their children also lived at the home. On Sunday night, an argument between Whitehead and his wife escalated, and Whitehead threatened to take his own life and the life of his family.
The victims told deputies that early Monday morning they woke up to the smell of gas, Yarbrough said. They then found Whitehead with a propane tank in his room releasing flammable gas into the home. Whitehead is also on oxygen, which is flammable, and had lighters next to him, Yarbrough said.
Whitehead’s family fled the home and called 911, Yarbrough said. While waiting for authorities to arrive, Whitehead’s son went back inside the residence and attempted to talk his father down, but Whitehead attacked his son with a pocket knife. Authorities noticed a number of bruises on the son’s face and small cuts on his neck when they arrived, but the son was able to wrestle the pocket knife away from his father.
Authorities attempted to talk Whitehead out of the home, but it was unsuccessful, and they eventually had to go inside to take him into custody — fortunately Whitehead did not light one of the lighters, Yarbrough said. Firefighters with the Coweta County Fire Department also arrived on scene with fans to ventilate the home.
Whitehead was first transported to the hospital for a medical evaluation, Yarbrough said, and he was arrested by authorities after he was released from medical care later on Monday. Whitehead was charged for aggravated assault with a knife and terroristic threats and acts, and transported to the Coweta County Jail.