Ronnie Howard, 63, was arrested this afternoon in Saturday’s assault on two teenage brothers outside the Imperial Theater on Saturday. The suspect was arrested at Richmond Summit Apartments on Broad Street and charged with 2x simple battery. Two brothers, ages 16 and 14, had attended a function at th…e theater and were standing outside in their ROTC uniforms when the suspect approached and asked them about self-defense. The man then grabbed the younger teen by the throat and choked him, a report states. After letting go, the suspect slapped the older teen’s cap from his head and left walking on Broad Street. He remains in jail under a $2,600 bond.
An Augusta man was drunk and high on cocaine when he wrecked an SUV while carrying four children and two other adults at 2 a.m. Saturday, authorities said. Terry Travis, 33, of Seelye Drive, ran off the road in a 1998 Ford Expedition, hitting a mailbox. Travis then kept going and drove home. Inside the vehicle were three adults and four children, including three kids who were unrestrained. Passenger Tekola Stone, 33, told officers that Terry was drunk, high and speeding when he wrecked. Stone has the same last name as three of the four children, who were ages 12, 9, 7 and 3. Only the 3 year old was restrained, and only with a seat belt, not a car seat. The third adult was asleep. Terry was jailed on 11 charges, including DUI, hit & run, driving on a suspended license and 4x child endangerment.
Augusta’s Keitlyn Champagne is accused of stabbing her ex-boyfriend in the back with an insulin needle while he was trying to leave her home, a report states. The victim said Champagne used to live with him but they broke up. On Aug. 12, he was at her home on Bertram Road and began arguing when the 19-year-old woman allegedly hit him in the face. He started to leave when she stabbed him with the needle, the report states. The victim went to the sheriff’s office to report the attack, and an officer observed a puncture wound and marks to his bottom lip. A warrant was issued, and Champagne was captured Friday and charged with battery. She remains in jail today under no bond.
Augusta mother Laura Baughman was evicted and arrested Wednesday after the Marshal’s Office found her living with four children in sickening conditions on Union Grove Circle, a report states. The home had “garbage, cat feces, dirty clothes, partially-eaten plates of food with maggots on the floor” and bugs throughout the home, the report states. The home also had exposed wires everywhere and a broken bedroom window with no cover. The four children were all girls, including 5-year-old twins, a 9 year old and a 10 year old. Baughman remains in jail today, charged with four counts of contributing to the deprivation of a minor. A report lists her as unemployed. The children were taken by DFCS.
Gerald Freeman Jr., an Augusta fugitive wanted for months for felony cruelty to children, was captured today after investigators got a tip. The 28-year-old Augusta man “wasn’t given a chance” to fight when he was confronted on the 3200 block of Dean’s Bridge Road, authorities said. Freeman was wanted for severely beating his girlfriend’s 16-month-old daughter in June, causing injuries so bad that even her urine was bloody. A full-body X-ray showed injuries to the girl’s head, buttocks, hip, rib cage and collar bone, authorities said.
A Video Warehouse employee has been charged with letting her brother walk out of the Hephzibah store with three Blu-ray videos. Kristen Cain, 21, was working when her brother came to the store on Woodlake Drive, picked up three videos and placed them on the counter, a report states. Cain allegedly removed the magnets, placed the videos in a bag and allowed her brother to leave without paying. The suspect made no effort to scan the videos or ring them up, a manager reported. The incident occurred Sept. 15, but Cain was arrested Friday on a warrant for theft by taking. No word on charges against the brother.
This is 20-year-old Saretha Williamson of Aiken. She looks pretty upset after an Aiken officer jailed her Tuesday on a disorderly conduct charge. The officer was called to a distubance on Hamilton Drive and was trying to talk to someone while Williamson kept interrupting, a report states. The officer told her to be quiet and stand near a car, and she wouldn’t. Police often use a disorderly conduct charge to keep the peace when people are behaving in a disruptive manner. We see dozens of these arrests in the CSRA every week. Why won’t people simple cooperate with police or tone down their behavior? Like Williamson, they usually regret it if they don’t.
Returning to the scene of the crime isn’t always so smart. A store employee at a Kangaroo Express thought she recognized 18-year-old Ebony Hastings when she walked in the Augusta store on Tuesday. Then it hit her. Ebony was the teen who had taken two 24-ounce Bud Light cans from the beer cooler and stuffed them in her purse on Oct. 18, a report states. When the employee realized who the girl was, she called police and a deputy found Ebony next door at the CVS Pharmacy on Peach Orchard Road. Ebony was arrested for shoplifting.
When the owner of Lucy’s Love Shop suspected an employee of stealing from her Augusta lingerie shop, she came up with a brilliant plan. She marked up some cash with blue, green and brown pencils and sent in two customers to buy stuff with it on Tuesday night. The employee didn’t use the register to ring the two women up, so the owner called the cops. A deputy arrived at the Washington Road shop and searched the purse of employee Kay Eckstein. Inside, he found $200 in cash, all marked up in blue, green or brown. That led to the arrest of the 43-year-old Augusta woman for theft by taking.
A teen has been charged with animal cruelty in Augusta after his mother ratted him out to police for burning a chicken alive and licking Armadillo blood. James Williams Jr., 17, was arrested yesterday on a felony animal cruelty charge and remains in jail without bond. His mother, Kari Miles, alerted local media to her plans to turn him in, saying she was sickened after seeing her son and other teens burning a chicken alive on a YouTube video he posted. The mother says she has worried about her son recently after he left home to live with his grandfather. Other arrests are possible.