Originally created 12/07/00

Across the area



AUGUSTA
Attempted abduction investigated

School officials will work with Richmond County police investigators today to find out who attempted to abduct two female students Wednesday afternoon at Glenn Hills High School.

Two men, who were not students, approached the girls outside the school at about 2 p.m., said Donnie Porter, public information officer for the Richmond County school board.

The men began talking to the girls and then followed them into the school's main building as they tried to walk away, Mr. Porter said. The students screamed when the suspects tried to grab them, alerting the school's assistant principal, who was nearby.

The men ran out of the building, he said, and the girls were not injured. School public safety officers immediately swept the area looking for the suspects but could not find them.

RICHMOND COUNTY
Police seek man in robbery, shooting

Police are seeking a man accused of robbing and shooting at a Shapiro Packing Co. worker Tuesday in the plant's lot, a Richmond County Sheriff's Department spokesman said.

Officers are seeking Darnell Bernard Dennis, 30, of the 1300 block of 12th Street, in connection with the robbery of Derrick Roberson, 22, of Hephzibah, and the theft of keys to a Shapiro truck from another employee, Tracy Davis, Maj. Ken Autry said.

The employees were in their vehicles talking in the lot on New Savannah Road when a vehicle pulled up with a man and woman inside. When the man got out and approached them, the woman moved into the driver's seat. The robber took money and jewelry from Mr. Roberson and the keys from the truck Mr. Davis was in, then fled.

Mr. Roberson followed the robber in a vehicle driven by another employee to Rozella Street and Old Savannah Road, where the fleeing robber fired about five shots at them, Maj. Autry said.

Mr. Roberson and Mr. Tracy later identified Mr. Dennis from photos at the sheriff's department, Maj. Autry said.

CLEARWATER
Man holds up convenience store

Aiken County authorities are looking for a man who stuck his hand into his coat pocket and robbed a Clearwater convenience store early Wednesday morning.

At about 6 a.m., a man walked into Bryant's Food Store at 4621 Jefferson Davis Highway, where he got a drink from the cooler and went to the counter. The clerk said the man shoved his hand inside his pocket and demanded money, according to sheriff's Lt. Michael Frank.

The robber left and walked behind the business, the lieutenant said. The Aiken Bloodhound Team was called in and picked up his trail briefly, but authorities say they believe the man got into a waiting car.

The robber was described as black, 35 to 40 years old, 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighing 180 to 220 pounds. He wore a black ball cap, a light-colored shirt, a green Army jacket and tennis shoes.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call the Aiken County Sheriff's Office at (803) 642-1761 or (800) 922-3211.

AIKEN COUNTY
Robbers took $5,000, man reports

Aiken County authorities are investigating claims by an Aiken man that two acquaintances robbed him of $5,000 on Monday, then tied him up with a phone cord, taped his mouth shut and covered his head with a pillowcase.

Donald Hamilton, 28, of Blackberry Lane, told officers that he met with a man at a home on Fields Place and that the man and another man pulled out pistols. They threatened to kill Mr. Hamilton if he didn't hand over the money, he reported.

The men reportedly tied up Mr. Hamilton and ripped an alarm system from the home. They left in a car, the victim reported. It was unclear how the victim got loose, but he was not seriously injured, a report stated.

No arrests were made, and detectives continued investigating the case, according to sheriff's Capt. B.L. Oliver.

GEORGIA
Man dressed as woman robs bank

GARDEN CITY - A man suspected of robbing a Garden City bank while clad in women's clothing is wanted on a federal warrant.

Omar Bowers, 28, is sought in the June 21 robbery of First Union Bank, said William Kirkconnell, supervisory senior resident agent at the Savannah FBI office.

Mr. Bowers reportedly robbed the bank while wearing a light-blue, full-length, short-sleeve floral dress, pearl necklace and straw hat, authorities said. The robber toted a straw handbag and wore a shoulder-length gray wig and large-framed dark sunglasses.

A second federal warrant was issued after a grand jury indicted Mr. Bowers on drug charges stemming from a Drug Enforcement Administration investigation, Mr. Kirkconnell said.

Mr. Bowers is described as black, about 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall and weighing 160 pounds.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Police hold two in trooper's death

GREENVILLE - At least two people have been taken into custody after a state trooper was slain Wednesday on Interstate 85.

Eric Nicholson, 27, died at 12:57 p.m., Greenville Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Erika Spinelli said.

Trooper Nicholson was shot several times in the heart and lungs with a large-caliber gun, she said. An autopsy was set for today.

The trooper was pulling over a man on a moped or small motorcycle, Greenville County Sheriff's Lt. Bruce Cannon told television station WYFF. He said a State Law Enforcement Division agent saw the suspect get into a late-model Jeep and flee.

Sheriff's spokesman Mike Brown said police had searched for a white man in a neighborhood near I-85 and Woodruff Road before he led authorities on a chase in another vehicle down U.S. Highway 29 toward Anderson.

The gunman fired shots at an Anderson County deputy during the chase. The deputy was not hit but was injured by flying glass and taken to the hospital.

The male suspect, John Richard Wood, 34, of Florida, was stable at Anderson Medical Center after being shot in the face by a deputy. A woman, Karen McCall, 33, was taken to Anderson County Detention Center. It was not immediately clear whether the third person was a suspect or a witness.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Birthday strippers miss senator

WASHINGTON - Among the dignified greetings for U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond's 98th birthday were two gifts that were capable of unwrapping themselves.

One had a little trouble at a Capitol Hill security checkpoint, but that's not why the Senate's most senior member never received his gift.

It's because strippers "Amy" and "Chastity" could not find Mr. Thurmond on Capitol Hill to deliver themselves Tuesday.

"It being Strom's 98th birthday, we wanted to send him a little present," said radio station WWDC-FM morning show producer Craig Henderson.

The station kept a cell phone line open so thousands of morning listeners could receive progress reports. At one point, one of the strippers' body piercings set off a metal detector during a routine security check. They never found Mr. Thurmond.