Across the Area

4 caught after woman fights to keep purse


Four men were in custody Wednesday after a purse-snatching in which an Evans woman was dragged through a shopping center parking lot.

According to police, the woman, 65, was getting into her vehicle about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday outside Kroger at 4355 Washington Road when four men in a silver-colored Cadillac drove up. One of the men jumped out and tried to take her purse, according to a Columbia County sheriff's report.

The woman refused to let go, even when the man jumped into the backseat of the Cadillac, still clutching the purse and the driver accelerated. She said she was dragged several feet before her purse strap broke.

Police found the car at the end of Holly Hill Road, where they detained Christopher Johnson, 21, of the 2800 block of Royal Street, Augusta; Brandon Jamal Curry, 19, of the 2100 block of B Street, Augusta; and Johnathan Devar Harrell, of the 500 block of Richmond Hill Road, Augusta. Tony Lamar McClendon, 19, of Taylor Street in Augusta, fled but was apprehended later, police said.

All four men were charged with strong arm robbery. Mr. McClendon also was charged with the theft of a Nissan Altima as he fled police. Mr. Johnson was also charged with possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime.

Aiken deputies hunt man who robbed store

Aiken County sheriff's deputies were looking Wednesday for a man who robbed the Breakers Store on Trolley Line Road.

An employee said the man entered the store about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, pointed a handgun at her and demanded money from the register. He fled with two cartoons of cigarettes but no money.

He was described as black, between 6 feet 2 inches and 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighing about 170 pounds. He was wearing a black tank top over a white tank top.

Anyone with information can call the Aiken County Sheriff's Office at (800) 922-9709 or Crimestoppers of the Midlands at (888) CRIME-SC. Callers can remain anonymous and will be eligible for a reward of between $50 and $1,000.

Man gets 3 years in prison for tax evasion

An Augusta man convicted of tax evasion was sentenced to three years in prison Wednesday.

Once he completes his federal prison sentence, Ramon Aguirre must serve three years on probation.

Mr. Aguirre owned Rabel General Services, which serviced vehicles and prepared tax returns, according to a release from U.S. Attorney Edmund A. Booth Jr. Mr. Aguirre was found guilty of not filing his personal and business tax returns for the years 2001 through 2004.

Robber holds gun to head of 2-month-old

Aiken authorities continued to search Wednesday for a man who held a pistol to a baby's head as he robbed the child's mother.

The 19-year-old woman said she was standing in her front yard in the 200 block of Whispering Pines Terrace about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday when a man approached from behind, said Aiken County sheriff's Capt. Troy Elwell.

The man pointed a handgun at the 2-month-old infant's head and told the victim, "Your money or your baby," Capt. Elwell said. The woman emptied her pockets and threw the money on the ground.

The man fled, but the victim followed him in her vehicle toward Pipeline and Bethel Church roads. The Aiken County Sheriff's Office bloodhound tracking team also tried to track him.

Witnesses say the man's street name is "T-Mac," Capt. Elwell said. He was described as black, 5 feet 6 inches tall, 150 pounds, with short facial hair.

$1,000 reward offered in man's fatal shooting

Investigators are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the slaying last week of Miguel Ramirez Hernandez.

He was shot during what deputies think was an armed robbery attempt outside his home at 124 Fox Trace Drive on Friday night, according to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. Investigators say they think more than two people are responsible. Anyone with information can call the sheriff's office at (706) 821-1080 or its tip line at (866) 939-5050. Callers can remain anonymous.

Deputy, woman injured in late-night collision

The South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating a crash that sent an Aiken County sheriff's deputy and an Aiken woman to the hospital Tuesday night.

About 11:15 p.m., Aiken County sheriff's Deputy Bradley Dyer, 32, was driving to back up a New Ellenton police officer on South Carolina Highway 19 at Partridge Ben Road, about four miles south of Aiken, sheriff's Capt. Troy Elwell said.

Deputy Dyer's patrol car collided with a 1998 Pontiac sedan driven by Linda Macri, 51, of Aiken, said South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Scot Edgeworth.

Ms. Macri was taken to the Medical College of Georgia Hospital and Clinics, but her injuries are not life-threatening, Trooper Edgeworth said. Deputy Dyer was treated at the Aiken Regional Medical Centers and released.