Ex-deputy focus of investigation

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A former Richmond County sheriff's deputy who left the department amid controversy in 2003 is being investigated on accusations that he entered the department's training center and took four children on a joyride in a squad car.

Sheriff Ronnie Strength confirmed Wednesday that his office is investigating former deputy Nicholas Capobianco, who is believed to have entered the facility Aug. 31. The sheriff said officers also have been in contact with Hephzibah Police Officer Dwayne Flowers, who was at the facility and claims that when he arrived Mr. Capobianco was already inside.

The stepmother of three of the children, Jane Ricci, said all but one of the children were put in a police vehicle and driven around the track. She claims that Mr. Capobianco did traffic maneuvers in the vehicle -- making it ride on two wheels and even spinning 360 degrees.

Some of the children have claimed that Mr. Capobianco first tried to use a plastic card to unlock the door to the center, then pried open the door with a piece of metal.

"We are definitely looking into it, but the only thing I know right now is what they (the family members) say," the sheriff said. "They say they got their information from the kids."

A trail of controversy seemed to follow Mr. Capobianco until he quit the sheriff's office in June 2003.

He was acquitted by a federal grand jury after being accused of using excessive force in the fatal shooting of 29-year-old Alfaigo Davis in 1998. Mr. Davis was shot 10 times by Mr. Capobianco and another deputy after he fled from them to a cul-de-sac on Jonathan Court in south Augusta.

In April 2001, Mr. Capobianco was suspended and later placed on probation for not turning in a Masters Tournament badge he found while working off-duty security at a nightclub. Three months later, he accidentally shot and seriously injured a fellow deputy during a school-shooting training exercise at the same facility he is accused of breaking into last month.

Ms. Ricci is married to Louis Ricci, the father of three of the children. Their mother -- his ex-wife -- is married to Mr. Capobianco, who they allege brought the children to Augusta from their home in Destin, Fla.

Mr. Capobianco's biological daughter is also believed to have been present.

Sheriff Strength said that if the allegations prove true Mr. Capobianco could face criminal trespass charges. There are no security cameras on the training facility property, but an investigator lives on the property and periodically patrols it, he said.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.

TIME LINE


February 1998: Alfaigo Davis, 29, is shot to death by Deputy Capobianco and Deputy Gary Clark Jr. after a chase.


January 1999: Deputy Capobianco and Deputy Clark are cleared of any wrongdoing in the shooting.


April 2001: Deputy Capobianco is suspended for not turning in a Masters badge he found while working off-duty security at a local nightclub. He later gave the badge to a friend, who used it to get into the tournament.


July 2001: He accidentally shoots a fellow deputy during a training exercise. The deputy is hit with a blank from a 12-gauge shotgun and is injured in the leg.


January 2003: He becomes co-owner of a teen club on Reynolds Street called Industry. The club is marred by violence, including a bloody attack on a teen with a brick in the parking lot.


June 2003: Deputy Capobianco resigns from the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.


August 2008: Deputy Capobianco is accused of breaking into the sheriff's training center.


September 2008: An internal affairs investigation is opened.

Source: The Augusta Chronicle archives

Comments (23) Add comment
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As It Is
2
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As It Is 09/11/08 - 04:10 am
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Trespassing Charges....If

Trespassing Charges....If true, lets add Child Endangerment and anything else possible. Those in or formely in law enforcement certainly know the consequences for their actions when breaking the law. Bad officers effect so many good officers through negative public perception. They deserve a fair trial as do all but every charge possible should be filed against them.

Reality
3
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Reality 09/11/08 - 05:25 am
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I agree, if he is guilty

I agree, if he is guilty throw the book at him...

whynot2
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whynot2 09/11/08 - 05:32 am
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Wouldnt this be burglary?

Wouldnt this be burglary?

nofrills
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nofrills 09/11/08 - 06:17 am
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Didn’t he take a vehicle on a

Didn’t he take a vehicle on a small joyride on two wheels and a 360? I think that is auto theft or the least it should be unauthorized use of a vehicle. If it had been me then the charges would be. Breaking and entry, child endangerment, unauthorized use of a vehicle. Just my opinion.

UrNotReady4TheTruth
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UrNotReady4TheTruth 09/11/08 - 08:04 am
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Come on now. He has literally

Come on now. He has literally gotten away with murder. Do you think he’s going to get time for taking a cop car? Look at his track record from the time of the shooting! He may have gotten away with it here on earth but there is a Bigger Judge who has the final say!

MJDW
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MJDW 09/11/08 - 08:58 am
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No not murder, doing his job,

No not murder, doing his job, he and the other deputy was cleared. Can you not read, O, you read only whant you want too,
UrNot Ready4The Truth and you are?

426Hemi
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426Hemi 09/11/08 - 09:05 am
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A shining example as to why

A shining example as to why some folks should not be in law enforcement. But then, he's only human, and a sad example at that.

justsoyaknow
3
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justsoyaknow 09/11/08 - 09:09 am
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Internal Affairs????? Isn't

Internal Affairs????? Isn't that division used to investigate "employees" of the agency?? He is no longer affiliated with the County and should be investigated as such. Certainly many, serious charges could result from this -- we'll see how objective the sheriff and DA really are...

Sharky
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Sharky 09/11/08 - 09:37 am
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Why is he still being called

Why is he still being called "deputy"?

a different drum
26
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a different drum 09/11/08 - 10:12 am
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If this is true -- I think

If this is true -- I think they should go back and look at all the cases this person was involved with.

jayman
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jayman 09/11/08 - 10:13 am
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I think that the GBI should

I think that the GBI should be investigating this, but like a lot of thing that happend on the sheriff dept, it is all about who you are , and who you knows. There will not be any charges brought against Nick. The investigation will come back as not being true, someone that dosen't like Nick brought these charges up against him, because of something that happend in the past. As far as Internal Affairs, that is a joke, a bunch of Good Old Boys is on there, and if you are in, or was in the CLICK, than you don't have anything to worry about.

adrian22
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adrian22 09/11/08 - 10:17 am
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How many acts of misconduct

How many acts of misconduct must he receive before you are just like the other criminals. The only difference is he has a badge. He may have been cleared and all but how many incidents do you get? Officers, government officials should be held to a higher code of ethics. They are all human but they should know and do better. And then he breaks into the place he works for. Selling badges that do not belong to him. He shouldn't have resigned, he should of been fired. That is theft. I am glad he doesnot work for RC because there are some great deputies there that do what they say and live their life the right way. One cop cannot spoil it for all.

DEVGRU
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DEVGRU 09/11/08 - 10:28 am
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It would be burglary if he

It would be burglary if he entered the premises to commit a felony.

a different drum
26
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a different drum 09/11/08 - 11:28 am
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When I read the newspaper it

When I read the newspaper it is difficult to know what the TRUTH is. I am NOT saying people are lying. People just have beliefs that are drastically different. For example: Global warming. There is one group of people that are convinced that humans are causing Global Warming and another group that says humans have no effect on Global Warming. Both groups CANNOT be correct, but both groups truly believe they are correct. I call this the SUBJECTIVE TRUTH because it is what people choose to believe. I do believe the PROVERBAL TRUTH exists, as in the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but it is difficult for us as humans to see, because our emotions and personal interest get in the way and cloud our reasoning ability. I stand just as guilty of this as anyone else. It appears to me the way our laws are enforced and interpreted depends a great deal on which political party is in power.

a different drum
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a different drum 09/11/08 - 12:28 pm
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If a certain percent of our

If a certain percent of our population is dishonest -- it stands to reason that a certain percent of people in all occupations would be dishonest. Esp. politicians, used car salesmen, lawyers, TV preachers, ect. (Just kidding). I do wonder if anyone has every done a study to see what the breakdown is on criminals in the various occupations?

AugustaVoter
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AugustaVoter 09/11/08 - 04:28 pm
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nocorruption, This would be

nocorruption, This would be burglary except the laws of the state of Richmond County won't allow it. The felony is auto theft. He broke into the training center building with the intent to take a vehicle. But in Richmond County (the commonwealth of) they don't charge people with felonies because the sheriff likes to "pad" the crime statistics. The same is with someone breaking into a car and taking a stereo. Here in Richmond county, they use the theft by taking statute, a misdemeanor. But GA Law has a specific charge called "Entering an Auto" that is a felony. The only time it is used is when a suspect is caught. The sheriff doesn't want too many unsolved felonies on his track record. THIS IS FACT! Officer Flowers is not a trustworthy officer either. His left the sheriff's office a few years ago for stealing money from the former explorer program.

AugustaVoter
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AugustaVoter 09/11/08 - 04:32 pm
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I smell a distraction

I smell a distraction technique being used to steer us away from other issues..... Wonder what is really going on at RCSO......

darktall
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darktall 09/11/08 - 09:30 pm
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First, Augusta Voter a theft

First, Augusta Voter a theft by taking is a misd or a felony depending on the amount. I love the amount of legal ignorance on this post. Also Internal affairs can't be the good ole boys when a woman is on it. Also slander is a civil charge you should face for saying Flowers stole money. Post your name and let them confront you on your life and I bet they will find some wrong in your life. let the proper authorities investigate and see the outcome then judge. Also everyone forgets about Roundtree and all his ordeals that were far worse than anything on here lately.

darktall
0
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darktall 09/11/08 - 09:30 pm
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First, Augusta Voter a theft

First, Augusta Voter a theft by taking is a misd or a felony depending on the amount. I love the amount of legal ignorance on this post. Also Internal affairs can't be the good ole boys when a woman is on it. Also slander is a civil charge you should face for saying Flowers stole money. Post your name and let them confront you on your life and I bet they will find some wrong in your life. let the proper authorities investigate and see the outcome then judge. Also everyone forgets about Roundtree and all his ordeals that were far worse than anything on here lately.

prolifer
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prolifer 09/11/08 - 11:12 pm
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Augusta Voter, you are

Augusta Voter, you are correct. Flowers stole and was welcomed into the Hephzibah PD. I know him personally. His girlfriend was also protectected by RCSO. When he interviewed for the job, the decision was already made that he would get the job. First of all, he talks too much. For all of you who think that some don't know what they are talking about, it may just be a situation of not wanting to suffer what they will have to suffer if it is known who said what.

hoser123
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hoser123 09/12/08 - 01:35 am
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I know Nick and I know

I know Nick and I know Dwayne. I was an explorer when he was still working and later a deputy myself. This is nothing more than a witchhunt

yasper21
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yasper21 09/12/08 - 01:43 am
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I also know Nick and he has

I also know Nick and he has proven himself to be a liar when it suits his purposes.

Concerned60
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Concerned60 09/19/08 - 10:11 am
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Yes Nick is an EX deputy.

Yes Nick is an EX deputy. Does any deputy who has killed someone in THE LINE OF DUTY have their life broadcast in the newspaper and tv news for TEN years? Do reporters these days not check out their sources before they print rubbish? If they did they would see this is nothing but two disgruntled, miserable ex-spouses who are using this news to further their personal vendettas. How many children know what a 360 degree turn is? How many of you were calling Deputy Flowers a thief and Nick a liar when they were out there everyday protecting the citizens of Augusta and Richmond County? Alfaigo Davis was high on drugs and alcohol which his own mother admitted on tv. Nick and Gary were found NOT GUILTY by the grand jury and the civil courts. Why don't all of you know it alls go to the archives and read the real accounts of what happened. And then sweep off your own porches before you sweep off anyone elses. And slander and defamation of character are against the law. Show your true selves if you have the guts.

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