Across the area

68-year-old attacked in restaurant restroom


Police asked the public for help Wednesday after a man reported being beaten and robbed in a restroom at a Walton Way Burger King.

The 68-year-old Augusta man said a man approached him from behind Tuesday and began punching him in the back of the head, according to a Richmond County sheriff's report.

The victim pleaded with the assailant to stop and handed him $20 from his wallet, the report said.

The attacker is described as a short black male between 150 and 155 pounds, wearing a white shirt with a black horizontal stripe, black shorts, a black-and-white ball cap and black sneakers.

Anyone with information can contact the sheriff's office's Violent Crimes Division at (706) 821-1055.

Suspect in home invasion will not fight extradition

An Aiken County murder suspect who fled an Augusta hospital, only to return a few days later, has waived extradition and will be taken to an Aiken County jail, Aiken County sheriff's Capt. Troy Elwell said Wednesday.

Terrence Riley, 40, of Columbia, was taken to the Richmond County jail on Tuesday, according to jail records. He was expected to be transferred to an Aiken facility, where he would await a bond hearing, Capt. Elwell said.

Police say Mr. Riley is one of four men who fatally shot Jerry Tyler in a Ridge Spring home invasion June 12. Mr. Riley was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital after one of his partners accidentally shot him in the leg, lower abdomen and chest, police say.

School worker accused of lying to authorities

Aiken County authorities say a Hephzibah Elementary School worker has been arrested and accused of giving police false information during an Aiken County murder investigation.

Autronique Latrice Williams, 30, of the 3700 block of Farrington Drive, was arrested Tuesday in Richmond County and charged with misprision of a felony, said Aiken County sheriff's Capt. Troy Elwell.

He said Ms. Williams is accused of lying in an attempt to give an alibi for Dewayne Issac, the man accused in the June 11 fatal shooting of Exzradrian Holloway in North Augusta.

Louis Svehla, Richmond County schools' director of public information, said Ms. Williams has been a nutrition worker at Hephzibah Elementary.

Bomb squad turns up nothing at intersection

The Richmond County bomb squad was called to the corner of Kissingbower Road and Joyce Street on Wednesday morning after a report of a suspicious briefcase or suitcase, Richmond County sheriff's Maj. Ken Autry said. No explosive device was found.

Woman admits fraud against social services

A Columbia woman implicated in a scheme to defraud the South Carolina Department of Social Services pleaded guilty Wednesday, U.S. Attorney W. Walter Wilkins said in a statement.

Nova Johnson, 40, admitted she cashed four checks procured by fraud and recruited others to cash additional checks.

Corey Smith to play in Augusta on Aug. 8

Corey Smith will appear at a special outdoor back-to-school concert at 6 p.m. Aug. 8 at Jessye Norman Amphitheater.

Augusta artist John Krueger will appear in support, and a yet-to-be-determined regional act will also perform.

Tickets cost $20 in advance at and $25 at the gate.

Volunteers invited to clean Gordon Highway

Organizers of Saturday's kickoff of a long-range cleanup plan for Gordon Highway expect more than 300 volunteers to converge at Southgate Shopping Center, but cleanup committee member Henry Frischknecht said there is plenty of room for more helpers.

"Right now we think we'll have 300 to 350 out there," he said. "We can always use more."

Volunteers will meet at 6:30 a.m., form groups and move out to designated areas.

The committee was assembled by Pride & Progress and Acura of Augusta.

The initial goal is a thorough cleanup of garbage and old signs, but the campaign could later be expanded to other projects, and even other areas besides Gordon Highway, Mr. Frischknecht said.

Augusta commissioners are providing bags for the litter, and groups that plan to participate include church organizations, Scout groups and garden clubs.

Anyone interested in participating Saturday or in future campaigns can contact Rick Brady at Acura of Augusta, (706) 737-5200, or at

Charges grow against molestation suspect

An Augusta man already in the Richmond County jail on child molestation charges was charged Wednesday with molesting three girls over a three-year period.

Robert Paul Gruka, 40, of the 4800 block of Windsor Spring Road, was in jail on a previous child molestation allegation, according to a Richmond County sheriff's report.