Driver in fiery crash arrested in MCG assault

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A fiery, late-night car crash at an Augusta hotel and several anonymous tipsters led investigators to the man accused of assaulting a woman in a hospital bathroom last week.

Richmond County authorities served a search warrant at the home of Roger Antonio Bettis, 28, of North Augusta, on Thursday afternoon and found clothing that matched those worn by the suspect in surveillance video taken from Medical College of Georgia Hospital, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office press release.

Mr. Bettis, who was released from prison just two days before the assault in MCG Hospital, was arrested Sunday after he crashed a stolen car into the Budget Inn on Broad Street after a police chase and the robbery of Greg's Gas Plus on Atomic Road.

The crash -- and the fire it caused -- damaged the hotel and prompted its evacuation.

Sheriff's investigators began looking at Mr. Bettis as a suspect in the hospital assault after video released in that case prompted several anonymous calls. They expect trace evidence recovered from the suspect's home will point to his involvement in the beating.

The assault occurred about 8:40 p.m. June 3 in a fourth-floor bathroom of MCG Hospital. The 63-year-old victim was beaten unconscious and suffered a dislocated jaw, broken teeth, bruises and cuts, investigators said.

Mr. Bettis served a five-year prison sentence from 1998 to 2003 after he choked and robbed a woman on Bungalow Road. He had served just over five years of a six-year sentence for attempted armed robbery in South Carolina when he was released this month.

Mr. Bettis is charged with aggravated battery, aggravated assault, criminal attempt rape, false imprisonment and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime.

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

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colcamp1
10
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colcamp1 06/12/09 - 01:20 am
0
0
Good. This piece of slim

Good. This piece of slim deserves to be put away for life. Another case of the community coming together to do the right thing.

Asitisinaug
3
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Asitisinaug 06/12/09 - 01:27 am
0
0
Put away for life, I guess I

Put away for life, I guess I could agree. Frankly, he no longer deserves to have a life and certainly not one at the expense of tax payers. Instead of using tax money to keep him and other violent criminals incarcerated for the rest of their lives, they should simply receive death. Yes, this may sound a bit harsh, etc. but if these violent criminals do not respect the laws of the land and wish to kill, rape, rob and victimize others then they do not deserve to be a part of our society and we should not have to foot their bill any longer - take the savings and give it to education.

hurlyburly11
0
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hurlyburly11 06/12/09 - 05:20 am
0
0
career thug.....kill him

career thug.....kill him

reesiecup
0
Points
reesiecup 06/12/09 - 06:27 am
0
0
Fry him.....case closed.

Fry him.....case closed.

pantherluvcik
628
Points
pantherluvcik 06/12/09 - 07:04 am
0
0
Who in their right mind at

Who in their right mind at that age would try to rape a 63 year old, nasty pig that's someone's grandma. He needs to go away for life. He seems to like bullying women, maybe it's time for some men to bully him. They love rapists and molestors in prison, the age of the victim will get him done quick in there.

Townie
1
Points
Townie 06/12/09 - 07:05 am
0
0
I disagree with the lynch

I disagree with the lynch mob. Killing is killing, whether you do it "legally" or not. I say put him away as he should be, but make him earn his way. He looks like a strong, healthy man. Chain gangs need to come back so that "hard time" is just that. Make it less comfortable than being a fed, cot potatoe. Why should we have to work to support him while he doesn't? Hard labor is good for the soul. Cleansing, if you will.

andywarhol
0
Points
andywarhol 06/12/09 - 07:15 am
0
0
He'll be out again, I can

He'll be out again, I can promise you that.

mikeelliott
73
Points
mikeelliott 06/12/09 - 07:36 am
0
0
Our current "rehabilitation"

Our current "rehabilitation" system does not have a great track record. I imagine that a majority of caught offenders are not first-timers. Couple that with some career criminals and you get exactly what we have. Our desire to be a "fair" society has trumped our original design of creating a "just" society. Sadly, we are now bound by a tangled web of laws and loopholes in those laws.

rufus
2
Points
rufus 06/12/09 - 07:57 am
0
0
After you factor in the

After you factor in the appeals and 15 years on death row, it's just as expensive to kill him as it is to keep him for life. I say throw a toaster in his tub.

andywarhol
0
Points
andywarhol 06/12/09 - 08:13 am
0
0
These are the times I'm

These are the times I'm jealous of 3rd world countries. If you rape or attempt rape; cut that thing off. If you steal take one foot and one hand, etc. It would deter would be criminals.

AAQueen
18
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AAQueen 06/12/09 - 08:34 am
0
0
Asitisinaug I disagree with

Asitisinaug I disagree with you and agree with Townie. Our prison system need to be revamped. Bring back the chain gang and have them do odd jobs around the city. When I lived in Columbus GA their sanitation workers were the people who earned the title of trustee at jail. I know during the time I lived there, 4 yrs no one tried to escape. Prisons should be prisons. A cell, three meals and a prison outfit. No brand name sneakers or jeans. The system should take a look at Joe Arpaio of Arizona and the way he handleshis jail system. I have to pay for my children college so why should I pay for a convict to get educated. All prisons should be run like supermax prisons, let out your cell one hour a day and only educational programs on a TV, set outside your cell.
This guy is proof that our prison system doesn't work; he probaly wants to go back.

1941
4
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1941 06/12/09 - 08:59 am
0
0
Hang Him !!!!!!

Hang Him !!!!!!

MJDW
0
Points
MJDW 06/12/09 - 09:33 am
0
0
Chain gang would mean we

Chain gang would mean we could do away with the SPLOST!

overburdened_taxpayer
116
Points
overburdened_taxpayer 06/12/09 - 09:39 am
0
0
We NEVER have rehabilitated

We NEVER have rehabilitated anyone. As a society, we can offer rehabilitation programs but it is up to the individual to want rehabilitation and rehabilitate themselves.

puddeecat
0
Points
puddeecat 06/12/09 - 09:44 am
0
0
Kill him....don't waste our

Kill him....don't waste our taxpayer money keeping him in prison.

502.5
0
Points
502.5 06/12/09 - 09:50 am
0
0
So, why was this guy ever

So, why was this guy ever released back on society?? Two days...just two days and he was at it again.

Rolling Eyes
245
Points
Rolling Eyes 06/12/09 - 10:03 am
0
0
I wish that it could be left

I wish that it could be left up to the ladies that he brutalized to choose his punishment.

KSL
118851
Points
KSL 06/12/09 - 10:08 am
0
0
rufus, you need to post more

rufus, you need to post more often. LOL

KSL
118851
Points
KSL 06/12/09 - 10:12 am
0
0
He has been in prison all of

He has been in prison all of his adult life. And he's going back after 2 days of freedom. He has no idea how to survive outside of prison, and I doubt he ever will.

noway
201
Points
noway 06/12/09 - 10:14 am
0
0
there was nothing in the

there was nothing in the article that said he raped the 63 year old.

mommyoftwo
0
Points
mommyoftwo 06/12/09 - 10:31 am
0
0
Rape or attempted rape, it's

Rape or attempted rape, it's all the same to the victim.

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 06/12/09 - 11:17 am
0
0
Once a criminal always a

Once a criminal always a criminal........apparently he loves jail, maybe it's better than getting a real job and making an honest living...

andywarhol
0
Points
andywarhol 06/12/09 - 11:35 am
0
0
I'm sure almost getting my

I'm sure almost getting my butt taken and it actually happening would be a huge difference to me. Do people realize that Soldiers in Iraq & Afghan live in much worse conditions than our prisoners here do?

SilentJ
0
Points
SilentJ 06/12/09 - 11:44 am
0
0
I guess the five years he

I guess the five years he spent in prison the first time didn't have any effect on him.He needs to be locked up and stay that way he is nothing but trash!

js_ee
0
Points
js_ee 06/12/09 - 12:24 pm
0
0
I'll donate the toaster if

I'll donate the toaster if you supply the tub rufus! If the evidence proves guilt, I say schedule it for next Friday!!

emergencyfan
0
Points
emergencyfan 06/12/09 - 12:43 pm
0
0
I agree about making them pay

I agree about making them pay their own way with with some good, old fashioned, honest labor. A Golf and Garden no one can apparently afford to maintain comes to mind...

InChristLove
22407
Points
InChristLove 06/12/09 - 12:48 pm
0
0
"The 63-year-old victim was

"The 63-year-old victim was beaten unconscious and suffered a dislocated jaw, broken teeth, bruises and cuts." The suspect served from 1998 to 2003 for choking and robbing a woman on Bungalow Rd, then served from 2003 to 2009 for attempted armed robbery in SC. This guy should never get out....he beat the snot out of his woman and has proven twice before that as soon as he's released, he'll commit another crime. Sad to say, next time it might be murder. Seems like his crimes are escalating.

disssman
6
Points
disssman 06/12/09 - 01:30 pm
0
0
A perfect example of why

A perfect example of why lynching should return. How many chances does a person get before they are locked up for good. Why don't we have a prison tent city on the county line for people like this? I mean no AC, no TV, no Recreation, no Visitors, no movies, these kind of people should be segregated from all members of the human race.

Tujeez1
0
Points
Tujeez1 06/12/09 - 01:41 pm
0
0
Looks like this guy moved his

Looks like this guy moved his crime habit from GA to SC and back again. So that's NOT three strikes in GA. Look out SC, he'll be out in seven years.

helpicantfindthespacebar
1
Points
helpicantfindthespacebar 06/12/09 - 01:45 pm
0
0
Every single time they let

Every single time they let this monster out of prison another innocent person pays. He's beyond rehabilitation, imo, and should not be turned loose on society ever again. We need two sets of prisons....one for those with the possiblity of rehab, and one strictly to keep savages like this off our streets. Let them rot, kill each other, whatever. Just keep them caged like the rabid animals they are until they're gone from this earth.

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