Crime & Courts

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Assault cases up sharply from '09

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As Augusta nears the end of the worst month for homicides in a decade, another ominous indicator of violent crime is rising.

With a week left in July, aggravated assaults already had surpassed last year's numbers through July by more than 100 incidents. There were 191 incidents the first seven months of last year; there were 294 aggravated assaults as of last Friday. In all of 2009, there were 388 incidents.

If murder is at the top of the ladder of violent crimes, aggravated assaults would be the next rung down. Anyone who is shot, stabbed or severely harmed with another weapon but lives can be classified as the victim of an aggravated assault.

Many aggravated assaults are simply attempted homicides in which the victim survives. That was the case July 13, when, authorities said, 35-year-old Alfonicia Gilbert shot his ex-girlfriend as she sat in her car in the parking lot of the Covidien plant on Marvin Griffin Road. Tiffany Bush, 28, of Girard, Ga., ducked, and the bullet just grazed her head, authorities said. Apparently thinking she was dead, Gilbert shot and killed himself.

The increase in attacks has occurred for several years, and it is alarming, Richmond County sheriff's Maj. Ken Autry said:

"You could safely say that in the majority of these (cases) you have the potential of a homicide."

More often this month, that potential is becoming reality. The sheriff's office announced last week that it was adding another investigator to work homicides after the month's tally reached eight Wednesday and 20 for the year so far. There were 25 in all of 2009.

Statistics through June show larger increases -- more than 50 cases -- in burglaries, domestic violence and car thefts. There were very slight jumps in rapes, arsons and child abuse cases. Narcotics, forgery, theft, armed and other robberies decreased.

By the numbers

Aggravated assaults in Richmond County:

312: 2008

388: 2009

191: Jan. 1-July 31, 2009

294: as of July 23

45: July 1- July 23

Source: Richmond County Sheriff's Office

FOR MORE Richmond County crime numbers, visit the sheriff's office page at www.augustaga.gov.

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Suzy Q
1
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Suzy Q 07/27/10 - 01:41 am
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geez...and I keep reading

geez...and I keep reading that Richmond County is such a great place to live and raise a family.... *snerk*

AinAUG
0
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AinAUG 07/27/10 - 02:18 am
0
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^Ya, I keep hearing that on

^Ya, I keep hearing that on city data forum as well ;)

Asitisinaug
3
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Asitisinaug 07/27/10 - 02:20 am
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What we really need to know

What we really need to know is how many of these individuals are REPEAT OFFENDERS who got a slap on the wrist from our weak court systems. Violent offenders such as these NEVER deserve to walk our streets again...those who commit murder, attempted murder, etc. should loose all rights and never be a part of our society again. An option of the death penalty would certainly be appropriate for these dregs of society no matter the race, sex, etc....

charliemanson
1
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charliemanson 07/27/10 - 03:10 am
0
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Paraphrasing Charles Darwin:

Paraphrasing Charles Darwin: "Conflict occurs when you produce more offspring than your environment can support."

andywarhol
0
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andywarhol 07/27/10 - 03:53 am
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I'm so happy I'm not

I'm so happy I'm not subjecting my family to Augusta anymore.

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 07/27/10 - 06:23 am
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We continue to do the same

We continue to do the same thing that produces these assaults and people that perpetrate the assaults and we're disappointed that we have the same results. Until we change our core approach and social attitude, nothing will improve socially.
We have to decide the government isn't responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of everyone unwilling to accept or attempt personal responsibility. We have to make feeding at the government trough much less desirable. As long as the "free ride" has so many perks, many will continue to choose that path, which leads to low self worth because of no achievements, no respect for self or others because of never developing a sense of value, and no direction or goals in life beyond the day to day existence.
How can crime NOT be the end result of our current "government help" system?

veggie-d
0
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veggie-d 07/27/10 - 06:45 am
0
0
"crime on the rise"?...or law

"crime on the rise"?...or law enforcement "on the take"?

Dixieman
14942
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Dixieman 07/27/10 - 06:59 am
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Well, at least this isn't the

Well, at least this isn't the NY Times, which would be blaming the increase on the policies of the Bush administration.

pommom38
1496
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pommom38 07/27/10 - 07:56 am
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Regardless of whether the

Regardless of whether the offenders are repeat criminals or not, what happened to the *crime is not unusually up* stance? Richmond County just said that in an article few weeks back. Hmm, this article begs to differ.
I don't care who trys to paint a different picture, RC is a mess and the sheriff's department is more of a mess.
Yea, yea, we know countyman, RC is adding this, this, and this.. Blah, blah is what I hear.

Brad Owens
4405
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Brad Owens 07/27/10 - 08:17 am
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Well, this is terrible.

Well, this is terrible. Commission, please take the useless funds we waste on say, TROLLEY studies, and direct them to the Sheriff so he can get more cops on the street fast.

Crime waves always follow bad economic times.

countryman, tellme when these thousands of jobs will be coming again and make us all feel good inside again...

RoadkiII
6596
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RoadkiII 07/27/10 - 08:23 am
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OK folks, who are you gonna

OK folks, who are you gonna believe, some newspaper article or countyman? I am sure he will be here soon to make the necessary corrections to show that Augusta is the safest place on earth.

corgimom
32157
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corgimom 07/27/10 - 08:56 am
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No, he'll say "Oh, it's safe

No, he'll say "Oh, it's safe compared to XXX and YYY."

Unsafe in Augusta is unsafe in Augusta, who cares what it's like in other cities?

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 07/27/10 - 08:57 am
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Brad, sometimes you post like

Brad, sometimes you post like a Dem raised in government schools.
As long as the root cause isn't addressed, more police is no more than "more band-aids" on a diseased sore. It's covered up, but not fixed. And crime waves only follow bad economic times in areas with high levels of welfare. In areas where people are responsible for their actions, they're too busy supporting themselves and their families to start a crime wave.
End government enabling and you'll reduce crime to a tiny %.

disssman
6
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disssman 07/27/10 - 09:08 am
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Agravated assult is in

Agravated assult is in reality Attempted murder. Keep electing and sending those lawyers (your peers) to represent you in the legislature.

disssman
6
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disssman 07/27/10 - 09:15 am
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The web site shows the

The web site shows the sheriffs office has 895 (includes 74 part timers on school patrol) employees. Of the total we have 288 on road patrol. I don't know how many cars we have, but it would appear that we have more than enough people to actually police the areas. Makes you wonder if we may need a change? But that will never happen in river city, change that is. Did anyone ever notice that, even though we have a marked increase in visitors, crimes goes way down around Masters time?

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 07/27/10 - 09:21 am
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disssman, most crime is about

disssman, most crime is about stealth and deceit. Those two traits become more difficult when there are more observers. Also, during Masters, less crime is reported in the press. Bad for business, don't you know.

mary dits
2
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mary dits 07/27/10 - 09:33 am
0
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brad, why did the sheriff not

brad, why did the sheriff not ask for more cops at the commission meeting when the commission and mayor were asking him over and over is there anything he needs? why was the sheriff the one to find a gazillion dollars to cut when the budget was tight?

baronvonreich
0
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baronvonreich 07/27/10 - 09:54 am
0
0
Has countyman declared a

Has countyman declared a state of emergency yet or is Deke and his cheerleader digging through studies trying to find if Augusta is ranked in the top 25 in swingsets per capita?

momster59
0
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momster59 07/27/10 - 10:06 am
0
0
How amazing (not). Just a

How amazing (not). Just a couple of weeks ago the AC ran an article declaring that crime was down in RC, now it's up. Living in central Aug, I can tell you it's up, been up, and until the people they arrest for violent offenses are not longer released almost immediately, it's going to stay up.

usafvet
3
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usafvet 07/27/10 - 10:16 am
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I do believe that Countyman

I do believe that Countyman could defeat a lie detector.

lsmith
105
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lsmith 07/27/10 - 10:24 am
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It would seem that a more
Unpublished

It would seem that a more appropriate distribution of the 800 plus deputues be committed to the street war. How many of them are at desk jobs I don't know. It seems like the sheriff is locking up a good number of criminals, but with that being said just about every one arrested has an extensive rap sheet. They are not spending enough time in jail, or the parole/probation system is incapable of keeping track of the ones realeased. I'd be interested in seeing the breakdown on the crime numbers catagorized by race

mable8
2
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mable8 07/27/10 - 10:50 am
0
0
There have been many times in

There have been many times in the past where weather made the difference between stable and rising crime in society. It appears that the rise in violence has some correlation with the rise in temperatures. Add this to the economic mix, which appears to also influence criminal activity, and you have rising crime statistics especially in assault cases where emotions get out of hand.

countyman
20020
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countyman 07/27/10 - 11:16 am
0
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Once again a biased article

Once again a biased article from the Chronicle.... They didn't mention several crimes are up in Aiken and Columbia County since 2009....(Burgalries, Robberies, Break-Ins) etc..... What a shock! Sarcasm.....

The article did mention narcotics, forgery, theft, armed and other robberies did decreased in Richmond County..... But failed to mention several other crimes are down too.....

The fact's don't lie about crime... You can pick and chose certain crimes who have risen since last year... But the overall crime rate is still down.....

Jan 422, Feb 380, March 462, April 422, May 427, June 432....

There were less arrest made in June, May, and April compared to March of this year....

FallingLeaves
27
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FallingLeaves 07/27/10 - 11:15 am
0
0
Do you think those with their

Do you think those with their heads in the sand will pull them out yet?

FallingLeaves
27
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FallingLeaves 07/27/10 - 11:17 am
0
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The only good thing about

The only good thing about having their heads in the sand, is it makes their rear ends a great target for getting a swift kick in the attitude.

gaspringwater
3
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gaspringwater 07/27/10 - 12:46 pm
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0
Don't panic folks. The FBI

Don't panic folks. The FBI says crime is DECREASING everywhere! But maybe Augusta is not sending in their numbers.

http://www.fbi.gov/page2/dec09/crimestats_122109.html

montega12
0
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montega12 07/27/10 - 01:24 pm
0
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countyman who pays you for

countyman who pays you for this stuff seriously...and please tell us all when is the last time you have been downtown at night...stalked by a homeless crackhead for six blocks...had to dive behind a car due to someone shooting a gun outside the ramada downtown..mrs rueben made sure that the cops were not called even when one of her patrons from the thug party was laying outside bleeding from head to toe....i doubt you rarely venture to the places you praise and i would really like to see if you are brave or dumb enough to walk up and down riverwalk on a night where there isnt a special event

montega12
0
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montega12 07/27/10 - 01:28 pm
0
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and like it was said

and like it was said aggravated assaults are basically where a homicide was attempted and the numbers have surpassed last years and get off its the weather.... its always been hot in ga give that one a rest and stop with columbia county the ratio between crime in my county is like one robbery to 15 in richmond

corgimom
32157
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corgimom 07/27/10 - 02:26 pm
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"There were less arrest made

"There were less arrest made in June, May, and April compared to March of this year...."

That's right, Countyman, in your fantasy world, does everyone that commits a crime get arrested? "Arrests are down" means that MORE CRIMINALS are out on the street, committing more crime! That's exactly what we are saying!

Countyman, do you GET IT that it's not the arrest rate that determines if crimes are up, it's the increase in crime reports that determine if crimes are up?

Who would think- except Countyman- that a lower arrest rate means crime is down?

Brad Owens
4405
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Brad Owens 07/27/10 - 02:31 pm
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Mary, I am not sure, I guess

Mary,

I am not sure, I guess he doesn't want to rock the apple cart at this point.

Bill Clinton's Administration (now I know I am going to rile up all the Reichpublicans, I mentioned Bill Clinton!) gave grants that put 100,000 new, key word NEW, cops on the streets. Couple that with the lowest unemployment in our history and the longest run of positive economic growth since the Guilded Age and it produced the lowest crime rates in modern history.

We need more cops o the street now.

Brad

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