One man protest plays out on courthouse steps - | WBTV Charlotte

One man protest plays out on courthouse steps

(David Whisenant-WBTV) (David Whisenant-WBTV)

Dustin Carlyle says he isn't going anywhere, at least not until he talks to the state Attorney General.

After losing a child custody hearing on Wednesday, Carlyle, 29, created a big white poster and sat down on the steps of the Rowan County courthouse.  That was at around 3:45 pm, and as of 8:00 am on Thursday, he's still there.

“I had a court trial yesterday, a custody trial," Carlyle said. "Pretty much they took my son, told me I had supervised visits because of the neighborhood I live in, even though I ain’t been involved in no crime in that neighborhood and that’s the only place I can afford to live.”

Records from the state Department of Corrections show Carlyle has a few criminal charges from 2007, including misdemeanor drug possession, misdemeanor underage possession of alcohol, and misdemeanor driving after consuming alcohol.

Carlyle believes that he lost custody of his six-year-old son simply because he lives on Standish Street in Salisbury.  He says that's the only place he can afford.

“I work at Olive Garden, I make $10 an hour, my 6-year-old son now I’m fighting for and I got one on the way, plus two step children," Carlyle added.

He claims that things came out in court that just weren't true, and he says he wants to talk to the Attorney General.

“I just want my child back," Carlyle said.  "I don’t think it’s right just because of where I live and what I can afford they can just come and take my child, it’s not right.”

Since this story was originally posted, several people have reached out to dispute Carlyle's version of what happened in court and the reason that he lost custody of his son.  

They say there were other factors involving the environment in which Carlyle and his son were living.

Juvenile and child custody court proceedings are sealed and are not available to the media or public.

The temperature in Salisbury last night bottomed out at 28 degrees, and Carlyle sat, and slept, on the cold granite steps.  He is depending on the kindness of strangers and says he has gotten a lot of support.  He says he will continue the protest until he can get satisfaction.

“Only people from the courthouse who talked me yesterday was the sheriff, come out and told me that the city  said that as long as it’s just me and I’m not causing a nuisance, that I won’t have to pull a permit and they’re not going to arrest me," Carlyle said.

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