Originally created 10/26/02

Police seek man accused in assault



Richmond County authorities are looking for a man they say threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend with a knife early Friday morning.

Police are offering a reward for information on the whereabouts of Christopher George Coleman, 22, said Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Scott White. Mr. Coleman is wanted on several warrants - including aggravated assault, aggravated stalking and cruelty to children in the second degree - associated with threatening 25-year-old Iiesha McClendon at her East Telfair Street apartment Friday, he said.

Ms. McClendon, a mother of three children, told police she awoke before 3 a.m. to find Mr. Coleman standing over her telling her to get out of bed, Investigator White said. Mr. Coleman, the victim's ex-boyfriend and father of two of her children, entered the apartment through an unlocked door, he said.

Investigator White said that, when Ms. McClendon did not get up, Mr. Coleman went to the kitchen to get a knife then pulled the victim out of bed. He took her to the living room, where he put her on the couch and held a knife to her throat.

Mr. Coleman allegedly told the victim he was going to kill her then kill himself, Investigator White said. At that time, Ms. McClendon's 9-year-old daughter entered the living room area, and was told by Mr. Coleman to go back to bed, he said.

But the child returned moments later to see Mr. Coleman placing a blanket over her mother's head and holding the knife to her side, Investigator White said.

"Ms. McClendon said he had placed the blanket over her head so he didn't have to look at her eyes to kill her," he said.

Investigator White said the girl screamed and Mr. Coleman tried to approach her, but she ran to her bedroom and escaped through a window. The girl ran to a neighbor's house and called police, he said.

Ms. McClendon also fled from the apartment and began screaming for help, the investigator said. Mr. Coleman followed Ms. McClendon but eventually fled the scene, he said.

Investigator White said Ms. McClendon has had previous problems with Mr. Coleman, the father of her 1-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. On Sept. 28, Mr. Coleman allegedly slapped Ms. McClendon and choked her with the leg of a chair, Investigator White said.

In May, Mr. Coleman was found guilty of family violence simple battery and was ordered by the court not to have any violent contact with Ms. McClendon, Investigator White said. The victim said the couple broke up almost a year ago, and the problems occurred when she began seeing someone else in September, authorities said.

Police said Mr. Coleman has had numerous run-ins with law enforcement - he was charged with three counts of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime in 1999, and was charged with marijuana possession this year.

"We know him to hang out in drug areas around Walker Street and the East Boundary area," Investigator White said. "He has taken flight from deputies before."

Ms. McClendon and her children are at an undisclosed location with Safe Homes of Augusta, investigators said. Anyone with information about Mr. Coleman's whereabouts is asked to call the sheriff's office at 821-1020.

Reach Albert Ross at (706) 823-3339 or albert.ross@augustachronicle.com.