Originally created 09/30/00

Across the area



AUGUSTA
School bus collision injures young riders

Nine middle-schoolers were taken to University and Medical College of Georgia hospitals Friday morning after their bus collided with a pickup on Walton Way.

All the pupils had minor complaints, Richmond County Sheriff's Maj. Richard Weaver said.

The crash occurred just before 9 a.m. Bus driver Felicia Stone, 51, of Augusta, was making a right turn from northbound Eighth Street when the bus clipped the back of a 1994 Chevrolet pickup headed east on Walton Way, Maj. Weaver said. Twenty-three pupils were aboard the bus, he said.

Neither driver has been charged. Both the bus driver and the pickup driver - Leonard Hanson, 22 - of Grovetown, said they had the green light, and no witnesses came forward, Maj. Weaver said.

RICHMOND COUNTY
Police charge man in blaze

A small fire off Washington Road early Friday led to an arson arrest.

Kevin L. Hall, 22, was charged with arson and criminal trespass after he was found near the scene, according to Lt. G.B. Hannan, arson investigator for Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department. Lt. Hannan said he was carrying matches and was suspected of being intoxicated.

A neighbor above unit 1029-B in Savannah West Apartments smelled smoke and summoned firefighters at about 5:30 a.m., he said. Firefighters found two fires in the unoccupied dwelling - one in the bathroom and one in the living room. Clothes and towels left by a previous tenant had been used to start the fire, Lt. Hannan said.

No one was injured, and the apartment sustained only minor damage, he said.

RICHMOND COUNTY
Driver collides head-on with truck

A man who police say collided head-on with a county construction truck on 15th Street was in an intensive care unit at Medical College of Georgia Hospital on Friday.

A condition for Renard James, 41, was not available from the hospital.

At 3:20 p.m., Mr. James was driving northbound in a 1995 Buick Skylark when, for unknown reasons, he crossed into the southbound lane, Richmond County Sheriff's Lt. Larry Oberstreet said. He struck an Augusta Public Works truck with a front-end loader driven by Audry Stanley, 51, of Hephzibah, he said.

Mr. Stanley was not injured. Mr. James has been cited for failure to maintain lane, Lt. Oberstreet said.

AUGUSTA
Stabbing gets man 4-year jail term

A 24-year-old man who pinned a department store security guard between two vehicles and then stabbed him began a four-year prison sentence Friday.

Todd J. Harbuck of Augusta pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to aggravated assault in an attack on a Stein Mart security guard who attempted to stop Mr. Harbuck's shoplifting girlfriend June 17.

The attack left Horace Williams hospitalized. On Friday he showed Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet the scar measuring several inches on the back of his neck. Asked by the judge how he was dressed - in dress shirt and tie instead of a uniform - whether he identified himself and the reason he was stopping the woman, Mr. Williams said he never had a chance.

When he caught up with the woman outside the store after observing her shoplift a purse, Mr. Williams said he was struck by a vehicle and trapped between it and another car, sucker-punched from the side and then stabbed.

Judge Overstreet ordered Mr. Harbuck to serve four years in prison, followed by three years of probation and payment of a $1,500 fine.

AUGUSTA
Report on missing money delayed

Richmond County Sheriff Charlie Webster said Friday he will be unable to release results of an internal affairs report concerning the disappearance of $800 cash from a dead Navy seaman until early next week. He said he had hoped to release the document Friday after speaking with City Attorney Jim Wall, but Mr. Wall was not in his office.

The sheriff's department plans to reimburse the family of Seaman John Jeffrey Duncan, but Sheriff Webster said he is uncertain whether the money should go to his parents, Ronald and Pat Duncan of Mount Pleasant, Texas, or his widow, Christina Duncan of Lakeside, Calif.

Seaman Duncan died in a motorcycle crash Sept. 7, 1999, moments after leaving a SouthTrust Bank branch on Tobacco Road. Money he was carrying was never accounted for, and an internal affairs investigation was conducted by the Richmond County Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff Webster said reimbursing the family is not an admission of guilt. The investigation was unable to pinpoint a thief, because "too many people had access," the sheriff said.

"But the only people who are going to look guilty in this is the sheriff's department," Sheriff Webster said.

AUGUSTA
Three get bond in invasion case

Three of four men suspected of committing a home invasion in which a woman was sexually assaulted at gunpoint were granted bond Friday.

In Richmond County Superior Court, Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet granted $25,000 bond to Allen Davis Jr., 19, and Myron Q. Brooks, 17, each of whom faces charges of burglary, armed robbery, aggravated sodomy and possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime. The judge also set a $30,000 bond for Bernard B. Bennett, 18, who faces the same charges. Mr. Bennett is free on bond while awaiting trial on drug charges.

According to The Augusta Chronicle record of juvenile court actions, Mr. Bennett also has been found to be delinquent in the past two years for possession of a weapon and obstruction of a law enforcement officer and burglary.

Assistant District Attorney Shauna Reeves opposed bond for the three Friday, telling the judge that they and a fourth man kicked in the front door of a woman's home Sept. 21, stole several items and sexually assaulted the victim.

Sheriff's investigators are still looking for a fourth man, Ms. Reeves said.

AUGUSTA
Youth golf event begins tonight

The 2000 E-Z-GO Boys & Girls Clubs Golf Classic Auction and Golf Tournament will begin tonight with the auction and a social at Bell Auditorium.

The auction, set for 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., will include autographed sports memorabilia; golf trips; one-week stays at Hilton Head Island, S.C., and St. Simons Island, Ga.; jewelry; and customized golf cars. Music will be provided by Air Apparent.

The cost is $15, with members of golf teams getting two free tickets each.

The golf tournament will begin Monday at Woodside Plantation in Aiken, with check-in at 7:30 a.m. and the second flight at noon. The team entry fee is $600. For more information, call Elaine Rambo at (706) 771-4654 or e-mail at erambo@ezgo.textron.com.

Proceeds from the events will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Augusta.

AIKEN
Robber escapes in Subway holdup

Aiken police are looking for a masked robber who opened up a drive-through window at Subway restaurant Thursday night and helped himself to more than $1,000.

Employee Jennifer Carragher, 18, told police she looked over and saw the robber leaning in the window and confronted him, causing the man to drop the money.

But the robber pulled out a knife with a 4-inch blade with a serrated edge, according to a report from the Aiken Department of Public Safety. He told the employee to pick up the money or he would kill her.

The robber took the money and ran from the restaurant on Silver Bluff Road. A witness said he ran behind the Food Lion store.

The robber is described as white, about 6 feet tall, with a medium build. He was wearing a red mask, black jacket and sunglasses. A witness said he walked with a limp.

Investigators took fingerprints from the drive-through window and have a videotape from the store surveillance camera, a report states. No arrests were made Friday.