Originally created 11/27/03

Across the area



Girl is attacked by four pupils

The grandmother of a 12-year-old Sego Middle School pupil told police her granddaughter was punched and kicked by four pupils Tuesday after exiting her school bus.

Shirley Mims said her granddaughter, Tyeisha Denise Mims, a seventh-grader, became involved in a verbal dispute and was then attacked by two Sego Middle pupils and two Butler High School students, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report.

The report states the incident occurred at about 4:40 p.m. in the 3400 block of Jonathan Circle, Augusta.

Mother faces charges in child's beating

An Augusta woman was held without bond Wednesday night after police charged her with beating her child with a computer cord, officials said.

Thomasena V. Germany, 38, of Madrid Drive, was charged with felony cruelty to children and was held at the Richmond County jail, said sheriff's Maj. Ken Autry.

Investigators found that Ms. Germany struck her daughter, Ryanne L. Williams, 15, with the cable after 7 p.m. Tuesday to punish her for missing class, Maj. Autry said.

Ryanne was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital for treatment, he said. Maj. Autry said the Department of Family and Children's Services instructed authorities to return Ryanne to the custody of her stepfather.

"We're not trying to discourage corporal punishment at all," Maj. Autry said. "But the child didn't need to be chastised with a cable."

Student is arrested in school bomb threat

An Aiken High School student was arrested Tuesday in connection with a Nov. 13 bomb threat he phoned to his school, the third pupil from that school arrested this week, authorities said.

The latest arrest involves a 16-year-old boy, charged with conveying false information regarding an attempted use of a destructive device, a misdemeanor offense. The juvenile's name was not released.

He was released to his parents and will appear before an Aiken County family court judge, said Sgt. Charles Barranco, of the Aiken Department of Public Safety. No court date has been set.

The Nov. 13 incident was not related to a Nov. 18 bomb threat at the school that resulted in the arrest of two other Aiken High students, said Sgt. Barranco.

Anyone with any information regarding the unsolved bomb threats should call the department of public safety at 642-7620.

Manager reports guns missing from business

Several firearms were reported missing from an Augusta business Tuesday.

Rick Beard, the store manager for Sportsmans Link on Bobby Jones Expressway, told police a handgun, five shotguns and two rifles could not be located when he conducted his inventory check Tuesday, a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report states.

The firearms had been logged in to the store's inventory between August 2001 and June, according to the report.

Woman is robbed, hit on return from store

Authorities were investigating an incident Wednesday, where an Augusta woman said a man followed her home from a shopping center, robbed her at gunpoint and then struck her in the head with the gun, officials said.

Richmond County sheriff's Maj. Ken Autry said Ruby Newman, 57, of Floyd Circle, told deputies that after she had come home from shopping at a Wal-Mart store, a man approached her and demanded her money.

Ms. Newman said the man tried to snatch her purse, and when she tried to keep it away from him, the man struck her in the head with his gun, Maj. Autry said.

Investigators found that the man had followed Ms. Newman home from the store, Maj. Autry said.

Police to return child abducted by father

Jefferson County authorities left for Idaho on Wednesday to take custody of a child who they said was abducted by her father, officials said.

According to Jefferson County Sheriff Gary Hutchins, the child's mother also made the trip.

Officials said Joseph Paul Bradley, 21, was found with the 9-month-old child Tuesday in Idaho. Warrants were pending for Mr. Bradley and his aunt, Janice Johnson, 44.

Grand jury indicts man in pipe assault

A Richmond County grand jury handed down an indictment against a man accused of hitting another man on the head and legs with a metal pipe, court records state.

Dandy Ray, of Coleman Avenue, was indicted Tuesday on one count of aggravated assault, court records show.

The indictment alleges that on Nov. 8, Mr. Ray assaulted Dexter Lamar McCain with the metal pipe. A police report states that Mr. Ray carried the pipe behind his back before hitting Mr. McCain.

Suspect is indicted in child molestation

A Richmond County grand jury has indicted a man on charges that he molested a boy over several months and encouraged the same child to consume a substance that appeared to be cocaine, court records state.

Michael Patrick Debus was indicted by the grand jury Tuesday on charges of exploitation of children, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and two counts of aggravated child molestation, records show.

The indictment alleges that Mr. Debus had sex with a boy younger than 16 several times between July 2002 and April 2003. He was also alleged to have reproduced child pornography and to have encouraged the same boy to take what appeared to be cocaine.

Resident says men were inside his truck

An Augusta man told police he caught two men inside his truck in front of his apartment Tuesday.

Bobby Lamont Taylor, of the 500 block of 13th Street, said his truck was in a parking space at about 10 p.m. when he noticed the men sitting inside it, a sheriff's office report states.

Mr. Taylor said he yelled at the men from his home at Landmark Apartments and that one of the men walked away while the other got into a blue vehicle and drove away, the report states. Mr. Taylor told police his steering column had been broken.

Two men are indicted in downtown shooting

Two men accused in an Oct. 17 shooting incident near downtown Augusta were indicted by a Richmond County grand jury Tuesday, court records state.

Sha'king Tyrone Sheppard, 20, and Kenneth Augustine, 22, were indicted on one count of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, court records show.

Mr. Sheppard was also indicted on a charge of possession of a firearm by someone sentenced under Georgia's First Offender Act, under which sentenced people are prohibited from possessing firearms.

Authorities said that Mr. Augustine brandished an assault rifle before Mr. Sheppard fired a pistol at Corey Johnson, 21, outside the Courtesy Motel on 15th Street, striking Mr. Johnson in the back of the head.

Richmond County court records indicate Mr. Sheppard was sentenced to seven years for a charge of statutory rape under the First Offender Act.

Woman is hurt in break-in

Police say an elderly woman was injured and had her purse and car stolen in a home invasion Wednesday night.

The incident at the 3100 block of Abelia Drive reportedly occurred at about 5:30 p.m. According to Investigator Bonnie Kalbskopf, of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, the woman said she answered her door and two men in their late teens forced their way in.

The woman told police she was then hit over the head. Investigator Kalbskopf said the men took the woman's purse and a 1992 white Cadillac. Police were looking for the men late Wednesday.

Investigator Kalbskopf said the woman's head was bleeding and that she was taken to Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center for treatment.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Richmond County Sheriff's Office at 821-1080.

Police say car fire is third-degree arson

A vehicle fire discovered in the 3700 block of Stockholm Drive on Wednesday morning has been determined to be arson in the third degree.

A 1989 Nissan Maxima was completely burned up, and firefighters had to extinguish the blaze.

Police say the fire was started using gasoline and that an empty gasoline can was found in a nearby driveway, a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report states.

Man says someone deflated his Santa

An Augusta man told police Wednesday that someone cut an inflatable Santa Claus outside his house.

The incident occurred at the 2400 block of Wilkshire Drive between 11 p.m. Tuesday and 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report states. The Santa's value was estimated at $50.