ASHEBORO, N.C. -- Officers assaulted, a couple arrested and a newborn baby evacuated along with neighbors; a lot of moving parts in a story that started as a domestic disturbance call and turned into a meth lab investigation.
Officers say for hours Wednesday morning, the danger was very real between 8 a.m. ad 2 p.m. in the neighborhood in the 900 block of Center Street in Asheboro/
The entire area around the apartment building was blocked off with emergency vehicles and crime scene tape.
"We could all have been hurt or killed," said James Inman, who lives in the building.
Some neighbors told WFMY News 2 they are embarrassed and scared they lived so close to a meth lab and had no idea.
"It's really scary because we're on top, just like they are, and anything could have happened. It's scary," said Leah Harris, another neighbor.
One by one, investigators in hazmat suits brought out flammable liquids, peroxide and other ingredients, officers say, the family next door had been using to make meth.
'Meth is a very volatile substance, it
s susceptible to catching on fire and also it
s not good to be around the fumes,
said Major James Smith with the Asheboro Police Department.
Smith says the incident began when neighbors woke up to a fight.
The suspects, a man and a woman who neighbors say has a newborn baby.
"Started hearing hollering, and threatening. The boy was threatening her talking about he was going to bust her face, calling her names, cussing her out," Inman said.
Four officers responded to the domestic call.
While trying to figure out what happened, they noticed ingredients for meth.
That's when they say, the man grabbed a jug of a chemical and threw it on three of the officers.
First responders were dispatched and neighbors were quickly evacuated.
"I didn't have time to get my shoes, or clothes, or phone, or take my medicine or nothing because as soon as I walked out, the cops told everybody to get out," Harris said.
The three officers were taken to the hospital along with the woman and her baby.
It took seven hours before investigators deemed the building safe and neighbors were finally allowed back into their homes.
"I feel unsafe because there ain't no telling what they would do if they were still here," said Inman.
Police arrested Justin Dalton and Rachel Bartolovich. in the crime.
He's charged with three counts of Assault with Deadly Weapon and several drug charges.
She's charged with Maintaining a Dwelling for Controlled Substance and child Abuse.
The baby is in the custody of child protective services.