Police hold back crowds at Laney Walker store eviction

PHOTOS BY JAMES DOBBS/ SPOTTED
Sheriff Roundtree (gray suit) talks to the crowd
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 2:45 PM
Last updated Wednesday, March 27, 2013 2:37 PM
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 Richmond County sheriff’s officers were called Tuesday to fend off crowds hoping to make off with merchandise that had been set outside an Augusta grocery store during an eviction.

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Employees and hired men gather piles of food discarded by Laney Supermarket. Everything went into trash bins.   EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Employees and hired men gather piles of food discarded by Laney Supermarket. Everything went into trash bins.

Officials estimated 200 to 300 people filled the parking lot at Laney Supermarket, 843 Laney-Walker Blvd., after word spread that the Richmond County Marshal’s Office was enforcing an eviction at the business.

Officials said onlookers became angry when they learned they would not be allowed to take away food and other sundries that were piled outside the grocery as “abandoned property.”

The crowd dissipated after a swarm of deputies arrived, along with Sheriff Richard Roundtree, to assist the three marshals who had been initially assigned to the eviction.

“There is the potential to have people fighting and causing problems,” Lt. Calvin Chew said. “That’s not something we want.”

There were no arrests in the resulting confusion, but groups of people remained to watch the proceedings, many clutching empty bags and grumbling.

Tiffany Serles said she heard about the eviction from her aunt who lives nearby.

“She said they evicting Gurley’s,” Serles said, referring to the former name of the neighborhood market. “So, I came down here to get some of the stuff.”

Serles was watching with several friends while workers scooped up the food and other merchandise in trash cans which were in turn dumped into two garbage bins that officials said were destined for the Richmond County landfill.

“It’s a shame that they are just throwing all this stuff away and not even donating it to a shelter or anything,” she said.

Her friend, Victoria Williams, said she heard about the eviction on Facebook, as did many others. Word spread fast, and soon the parking lot was packed with people and cars waiting for a chance to take away the spoils.

“There are people with babies who need diapers out here,” she said.

Teresa Russell, a chief deputy with the marshal’s office, said the landlord, SunTrust Bank, was paying to have the displaced merchandise hauled away.

She said the tenant, Il Ki Choi, of Sun and Food LLC, could have avoided the commotion if he had moved out when notified by the court.

“They’ve known about this since Feb. 13,” Russell said. “They could have moved out anytime before today.”

SunTrust notified the tenant Jan. 1 that he had 30 days to vacate the property because the lease would not be renewed, according to court records.

A court-ordered eviction notice was served Feb. 13. Russell said the tenant failed to file an answer, so a judge signed the final order Feb. 27. SunTrust delayed scheduling the eviction until Tuesday.

According to Russell, a final notice was posted on the grocery’s door Friday. The tenant removed some goods from the store Tuesday morning before leaving, she said.

When reached by phone Tuesday afternoon, Choi said he was busy and could not answer questions.

Johanne Vargas, an agent for property manager FirstService Residential Realty, based in Sandy Springs, Ga., said she was unable to discuss the matter when asked why the groceries were not donated.

Joseph Young, who helps run a youth mentoring program in the same shopping center as the supermarket, watched marshals stand guard as food was tossed into the trash.

“We could have gotten some of this stuff and done something special for the kids this weekend,” Young said.

Comments (105) Add comment
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PUPPYMOMMA
1344
Points
PUPPYMOMMA 03/27/13 - 12:07 pm
4
1
I saw on the news last night

I saw on the news last night that some people followed the stuff to the dump with hopes of getting it there. They were turned away. Maybe we can learn from this and have a plan of action if similar circumstances with an eviction occur in the future. We already know that crowd control is essential.

Darby
25577
Points
Darby 03/27/13 - 12:18 pm
5
2
"These folks have a computer....

but no food? "
.

Computers, smartphones, Ipads, Kindles.... It's a wonderful world we live in....

historylover
8488
Points
historylover 03/27/13 - 12:22 pm
7
1
YOU SHOULD ALL BE ASHAMED

After reading most of the above comments, I find myself so ashamed of my fellow citizens. I am so happy that none of you have ever had to be hungry or need diapers when you couldn't afford them, but there are plenty of people in our area who do need those things. What a sin to throw away perfectly good food when there are so many in the shelters who could have used it. May God have mercy on your souls. Please remember your behavior on these pages when you are in church this Easter Sunday. Seems like Jesus had a few words to say about the poor and needy.

Darby
25577
Points
Darby 03/27/13 - 12:25 pm
4
2
".....an elitist socialist entitlement.....

society? We have one. It's called West Lake.

.
Now that is just vacuous, specious, inane, devoid of logic and without merit of any kind.

happychimer
17498
Points
happychimer 03/27/13 - 12:33 pm
1
0
There is an update on the

There is an update on the food. The food not spoiled is going to charity afterall.

historylover
8488
Points
historylover 03/27/13 - 12:50 pm
4
1
FatBoyHog

Oh gee with a name like that I'm probably wasting my time here, but the definition of racism is:
a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.

If you don't see that in play in these comments then apparently you don't want to.

Jake
32528
Points
Jake 03/27/13 - 01:10 pm
3
0
@Jane

Thanks for the English lesson and your take on the word "irregardless".
Irregardless, Webster shows the word "irregardless" as being an adverb and a blend of "irrespective" and "regardless". They didn't say I couldn't use it, though.
But I do know how to spell "so".

Mudge
185
Points
Mudge 03/27/13 - 01:00 pm
5
1
Wow what a bunch of mean

Wow what a bunch of mean hearted people. Tell us how you really feel... If it was something you wanted you would be there to try and get it for free. I don't blame these people in the least for wanting to take away this food. Unbelievable. Seems like it was just a chance to vent your bigoted feelings.

Jane18
12332
Points
Jane18 03/27/13 - 01:06 pm
3
1
Poor and Needy, Forever?

You are right historylover, He did have something to say. But, He also did not expect people to stay poor and needy(i.e.,entitlements). Be sure to read a little deeper...............

BamaMan
2356
Points
BamaMan 03/27/13 - 01:13 pm
2
1
Hungry people

Do ANY of the people in that picture look hungry to you? Look at the big guy in the red jacket with a phone to his ear. He sure hasn't missed a meal, and he dresses better than I do. But, HEY, what's free is free, JACK, right?

Mr. Thackeray
905
Points
Mr. Thackeray 03/27/13 - 01:17 pm
2
0
Okay, I think some of you are

Okay, I think some of you are missing the point. Maybe it shouldn't have been given away but it could have been give to the local food banks! As it was, it was just destroyed and that is a shame.

justthefacts
21757
Points
justthefacts 03/27/13 - 01:22 pm
2
0
Picking on Jake

Sorry Jake, but you used the term, "I could care less" yesterday. I think you meant you "couldn't care less". Unless, of course, it was something that you cared about.

LillyfromtheMills
13231
Points
LillyfromtheMills 03/27/13 - 01:24 pm
1
1
You other posters that are chiming in -

What we say are our thoughts - there is something wrong with this picture and we're trying to figure it out - Mr. Obama is here to stay, our insurance is going way up as are our taxes and we have people begging for food - are our people in Augusta like the scrum that ran from the hurricane in New Orleans? I didn't know we had a subculture in Augusta, GA! But we do!!!! And Columbia County - holding those hopoes and their dogs - let them go - put some of Richmond co in your jails and feed them - I still don't get it

Grace422
239
Points
Grace422 03/27/13 - 01:31 pm
3
1
Same ole stuff different day..

Let's see 1st, I can recall a Sunday school lesson about give a man a fish and he will be feed for 1 day, but teach a man to fish and he will go hungry no more..

2nd, I have been poor and without, but had the desire to succeed and did without the peoples help.

3rd, I also lived in ATL for a few years and watched peoples belongs get snatched up off the curve by folks just like this. I felt sorry for the ones that were being evicted and stole from, not the ones doing the taken. In my book their actions were about as cold hearted as you could get knowing the circumstances in which they got what they wanted..

4th, Don't none of the folks I saw in the pictures look like they missed any meals..

Last those folks had the means to discover the free B's, and a way to get there now take those same resources & desire to get a job. Problem resolved..

BamaMan
2356
Points
BamaMan 03/27/13 - 01:34 pm
2
2
This will tick a few off...

but the Bible says "If not a man work, let not him eat". These people look able-bodied to me. If you can't afford food, get a J.O.B. I'm tired of paying for it. If you can't afford food, why do you have a cellphone, oh I forgot..the White House gave that to you. If you can't afford to buy diapers, get a J.O.B. or quit having babies. Most of us have to work for a living, and yours too it appears. But you wanted change, and boy did we get it.

Rolling Eyes
245
Points
Rolling Eyes 03/27/13 - 01:35 pm
1
0
I hate to see useful items

I hate to see useful items thrown away. It really ought to have been sent to shelters or churches to be distributed to people in need...

happychimer
17498
Points
happychimer 03/27/13 - 01:49 pm
1
0
It is being sent to charity.

It is being sent to charity.

LillyfromtheMills
13231
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LillyfromtheMills 03/27/13 - 01:49 pm
2
0
People

I'm still mad at Mr.Azizizz and he won't go away! I couldn't believe what I read this morning about GRUUUUUUUUUUUU - yes, I go to Augusta College or I go to the medical college - this is wrong - the kids want to say where they are going - they're going to GRUUUUUUUUUUUUU?

PUPPYMOMMA
1344
Points
PUPPYMOMMA 03/27/13 - 02:23 pm
5
2
I always had some cloth

I always had some cloth diapers on hand when I ran out of diapers and could not afford any more until payday. I didn't have a washer and dryer either, had to use the laundromat. Guess what? I didn't get a check and I didn't spit out another kid for 10 more years. Couldn't afford it. I didn't look at other people to take care of my baby. I do not want anyone to go to bed hungry. I understand that jobs are hard to find. Sometimes, the only helping hand that you will find is at the end of your own arm.

soitgoes
786
Points
soitgoes 03/27/13 - 03:54 pm
2
1
freeloaders

use that picture in the dictionary. Disgusting. But that's the mindset of those who have grown up their entire lives dependent upon free handouts...

LeftCoast
18
Points
LeftCoast 03/27/13 - 04:01 pm
2
4
same as it ever was

No shortage of racism amongst the Chron's readers. If anyone can't see it in many of these comments, defining it for you would be a waste of time. See, I could explain it for you, but I can't understand it for you.

drjoe
32
Points
drjoe 03/27/13 - 07:02 pm
4
1
It doesn't bother anyone that

It doesn't bother anyone that these people felt absolutely entitled to these products that don't belong to them?

Left coast: go back to it. it is behavior, not skin color that is being condemned. I could explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

mrenee2003
2946
Points
mrenee2003 03/27/13 - 08:55 pm
3
3
Where is the moderator?

According to the Augusta Chronicle posting policy "You agree not to make racist, obscene or hateful remarks." About half of these comments need to be deleted. For the reader that wanted a definition of racism, it's the same as porn, you know when you see it and there is a lot of it here. Thank God, Christ died for your sins.

historylover
8488
Points
historylover 03/27/13 - 09:01 pm
3
1
mrenee2003

I could not have said it any better! Thank you!

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 03/27/13 - 09:07 pm
2
1
“it is behavior, not skin
Unpublished

“it is behavior, not skin color that is being condemned.”
Well said

LeftCoast
18
Points
LeftCoast 03/27/13 - 09:33 pm
1
0
Dr. Joe, please read my

Dr. Joe, please read my initial comment. Do you see anything that suggests I condone the behavior of "these people"? Now read a few more comments. If you don't see obvious racism in many of them, I will offer that this is your problem, not mine. As for my "going back", I was born and raised in Augusta. I maintain friendships with many people who live there still. I have fond memories of growing up there. What I don't recall is the nastiness and hypocrisy painfully evident in so many of the ungenerous comments tendered at this website. And the lack of those manners for which Southerners have long been renowned.

triscuit
3084
Points
triscuit 03/27/13 - 10:57 pm
0
0
Congrats Augusta...we made

Congrats Augusta...we made The Drudge Report!

Persius Juvenalis
3
Points
Persius Juvenalis 03/27/13 - 11:28 pm
1
0
A Sacrifice To Government?

I can't comprehend why they would throw the food away, unless this is some kind of anti-Christian governmental sacrifice ritual...

http://www.fakenation.info/please/laney-supermarket-a-sacrifice-to-the-g...

BamaMan
2356
Points
BamaMan 03/28/13 - 10:09 am
0
0
Racism???

Really??? You know, I read through every single comment, and I didn't see a SINGLE comment complaining about this behavior, saying ANYTHING about color. I think the ones accusing, need to look in the mirror at who is being racist, and I have no clue what color ANY of you are, and it doesn't matter. Bad behavior is bad behavior. Period.

Ignatz
2
Points
Ignatz 04/07/13 - 10:30 am
0
0
Sinful

I was brought up to believe that throwing out food was a sin. But I was brought up by Christian parents in traditional America, not this modern place where money is more important than people.

If throwing food in the garbage while a hungry man is standing there in need ISN'T a sin - what is?

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