Originally created 12/29/04

Across the area



Police charge robbery suspect

Police have identified and formally charged an Evans man who they say robbed a Columbia County restaurant at gunpoint early Monday and then fled from police in a stolen car.

James Thomas Bryant, 58, was taken to the Columbia County Detention Center and charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, firearm use by a convicted felon, aggravated assault on a police officer, theft by taking of an auto and armed robbery, a Columbia County jail attendant said Tuesday night. No bond was set.

Police say the incident occurred at about 1:15 a.m at the Finish Line Caf on South Belair Road, when a man placed a gun to the head of a customer leaving the caf and forced the person back inside.

Authorities say the man saw another customer and an employee, then took cash and fled in the employee's Honda Accord.

The man later crashed into a police cruiser at Wrightsboro and Lewiston roads after a chase, authorities said.

Traffic signal on Furys Ferry Road is working

As construction on Furys Ferry Road in Columbia County continues, Georgia Department of Transportation officials are telling motorists that a new traffic signal on the roadway is now fully operational.

The new signal will be at Furys Ferry Road and Prattwood Drive. Earlier this month the signal was simply in flashing mode; now it works normally.

It's part of the $9.6 million project to widen Furys Ferry from River Watch Parkway to north of Colony Drive, according to officials.

20-year-old woman says she was raped

A 20-year-old Augusta woman told police she was raped inside her attacker's home Monday, according to a Richmond County sheriff's report.

The woman said the man forced her to have sexual intercourse with him at about 3 p.m. Monday at his residence on Woodcrest Drive.

Police have made no arrests.

Aiken is not expected to get more flu shots

The Aiken County Health Department has distributed its limited supply of flu vaccines, and health officials said they do not expect another shipment any time soon.

The Aiken County Health Department ran out of the flu vaccine Dec. 9, one day after it announced that it had received more, said Ruthie Hewitt, an administrative assistant at the department.

South Carolina had to ration its 128,000 doses of the flu vaccine this year because of a shortage in flu vaccinations that resulted when Chiron, one of two companies that produce the vaccine, had doses that were contaminated and could not be used.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that only children 6 months to 23 months old, pregnant women, adults age 65 and older and people age 2 to 64 with serious health conditions be allowed to have flu shots.

Thom Berry, a spokesman for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, said 116,000 shots have been ordered though the agency by private practice physicians in South Carolina from vaccine maker Aventis Pasteur.

Woman is accused of hitting mother

A 30-year-old Augusta woman was arrested Tuesday and charged with punching her mother and threatening her with a knife, a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report says.

Leeshana Chilantez Brown, of the 1600 block of Chestnut Street, is charged with two counts of misdemeanor simple assault, jail records show.

According to the report, Ms. Brown came to her mother's house in the 1800 block of Belmont Avenue on Dec. 25 and grabbed a knife and threatened to kill her.

A fight ensued, and during it Ms. Brown cut her hand on the knife, the report says.

Woman says car was taken after wreck

An Augusta woman's car was stolen after it was involved in an accident and left on the side of the road, a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report says.

The woman told police she lost control of her car and drove into a ditch Tuesday afternoon on Windsor Spring Road at Plantation Road.

When she came back to pick up the car, it was gone, the report says. Deputies checked records and found that the car had not been towed.

Apartment residents report car break-ins

Three people in two apartment complexes on Thomas Lane told police their cars were broken into late Monday and early Tuesday, Richmond County Sheriff's Office reports say.

Two break-ins were reported at Regency Condominiums in the 2500 and 2600 blocks of Thomas Lane.

Both victims told police they had CDs and stereos stolen. A resident at Regency Village Apartments, in the 2800 block of Thomas Lane, told police a window was broken out of her car but that nothing was stolen, the report says.

Two dogs reported stolen at Christmas

There were two reports of stolen dogs in Augusta on Tuesday, according to Richmond County Sheriff's Office reports.

An animal control employee told police someone took a Jack Russell terrier out of a holding pen from the facility at 4164 Mack Lane sometime between Dec. 24 and Tuesday.

A man who lives in the 1100 block of Merry Street told police someone took a bulldog out of a locked fence sometime between Dec. 24 and Dec. 25, the report says.

Money is stolen from Zaxby's restaurant

The Zaxby's at 3909 Washington Road in Martinez was robbed late Tuesday.

Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said the robbery happened at about 10:20 p.m.

Two employees were behind the business emptying trash when a man approached them with a gun and forced them into the restaurant. The man stole a bank bag with an unknown amount of money. No one was injured, Capt. Morris said.