Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Police Chase Ends Painfully for Suspect

Reginald Mooreman should be happy to be alive.

The 20-year-old man was thrown from his car after crashing during a police chase in Richmond County early Monday morning.

According to authorities, the Augusta man was drunk when they tried to pull him over. He also had a outstanding bench warrant. That may be why he led police on a chase down North Leg Road at 1 a.m. Monday.

But the chase ended badly for the suspect. He ran off the road, over-corrected and lost control of the 1993 Toyota Tercel. The vehicle went off the road, struck a fence and hit a ditch that caused the car to overturn, ejecting the 6'3'' suspect onto the road. (Click on drawing above.)

Mr. Mooreman now faces a list of charges as long as his hospital bill:
  • Fleeing & attempting to elude officers
  • Failure to maintain lane
  • DUI
  • Driving while unlicensed
  • Seatbelt violation
  • Reckless driving
He is sitting in the Richmond County Jail this morning -- probably in a lot of pain.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Financial Identity Fraud

Matthew Howell III, 39, of Augusta, was charged yesterday in Aiken County with two counts of financial identity fraud and four counts of breach of trust with fraudulent intent.

But he's no stranger to the law. In October 2006, Aiken County authorities charged him with financial identity theft.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Who Knew It Was a Crime?

Check your wallet or purse! If you have more than one driver's license in there, better surrender one of them. Apparently, it's against the law to have two.

Last night, the Aiken Department of Public Safety hauled 24-year-old Marcus Bass of Warrenville (above) into jail for having more than one driver's license and driving with an open container. We understand the law about open containers, but we honestly didn't know you could get handcuffed and jailed over the possession of two licenses.

But according to our Internet research, the federal Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 made it illegal to have more than one driver's license. You can hold a regular or commercial driver's license, but not both. You can have one license from the state you reside in, but not from any other states.

In the past, bad drivers could more easily hide their driving histories by getting several licenses. Today, all the states are connected to a national database to check driver histories.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dumb Crook of the Week

Here's a tip for criminals: If you are going to drive around with a gun and drugs in your car, don't advertise it to police.

Last week, authorities arrested Ricardo White, 36, of Augusta (above), after they stopped him for blaring his music along Hillsinger Road. Standing outside his purple Buick Regal on Sept. 24, the officer glanced inside and spotted a black revolver on the passenger seat and a small bag of marijuana.

As it turned out, Mr. White is a convicted felon who isn't supposed to have a firearm, let alone a bag of marijuana.

Officers took Mr. White to jail on a host of charges, including possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of cocaine, marijuana possession, operating a vehicle without a proper tag, driving while license suspended and no insurance.

The Reason You Can't Pump & Pay

Wonder why the gas stations won't let you pump your gas and then pay?

Look no further than suspects like Kendrick Padgett, 32, of Ridge Spring (above). He was charged early this morning in Aiken County with gas drive-off as well as passing a fraudulent check.

He remained in the Aiken County Jail this morning.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pimps & Prostitutes

The Richmond County Sheriff's Office busted four people on Thursday for pimping and prostitution. The pimps are from Augusta and the prostitutes are from out of town, according to jail records.

Yteka Moore, 25, of Augusta (top) and Wayne Brown, 31, of Augusta (2nd photo), were each charged with pimping.

Angela Callahan, 34, of Wake Forest, N.C. (3rd photo), and Danielle Proctor, 19, of Peoria, Ill. (bottom photo), were each busted for prostitution.

Looks like the sheriff's office is working hard to clean up the streets.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Man Behind the Mask

This morning at about 10:34 am, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office responded to a bank robbery at the Fifth Third Bank, 2756 block of Peach Orchard Road. On arrival, officers learned that a suspect entered the bank, armed with what looked like a black in color handgun and wearing a mask. The suspect demanded and received an undisclosed amount of money before fleeing in what was described as a small gray vehicle.

An alert uniformed officer who heard the description recalled taking a missing vehicle report earlier in the day on a grey in color Mazda Millenia. The owner of the vehicle had loaned his car to an acquaintance, Jeremiah Williamson (above), who failed to return the car.

At about 12:30 pm, investigators located the missing Mazda and Mr. Williamson at the residence of the suspect's sister at 2526 Tara Heights Circle. Mr. Williamson was located hiding under a bed in the residence. The clothing worn in the robbery, money, mask and gun replica (all stained with dye from a dye pack) were recovered at the residence.

Mr. Williamson, 23, of 3010 Miranda Road in Augusta was charged with armed robbery and committed to the Richmond County Jail where he is being held without bond. He is also held on one count of burglary, two counts of credit card fraud, a state court bench warrant and a probation violation warrant, all unrelated to the robbery.

Repeat Offender - Kevin Jordan

Kevin Jordan, 23, of Aiken, was charged last night with criminal domestic violence. That's his mugshot from last night at top.

The suspect is no stranger to the Aiken County Jail, as you can tell from the previous mugshots shown below the new one. Kevin's been arrested multiple times since 2004 for assault, malicious injury to personal property, trespassing, receiving stolen goods, unlawfully carrying a pistol and driving under suspension.

He remains in the jail this morning.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Color Me Bad, Part Two

The Richmond County Sheriff's Office recently had two colorful suspects in their jail.

Sade Smith, 22, of Augusta (top), and Barbara Williams, 17, of Augusta (bottom), were each booked into the jail on Sept. 17 on a single charge of disorderly conduct. We got their mugshots today.

Is this the new style? Purple and blue hair?

Elderly Man Charged with DUI

An elderly man was charged last night with drunk driving in Aiken County.

Edward Eubanks, 72, of Warrenville, was stopped by Aiken County authorities and charged with driving under the influence. He was booked into the jail at 10 p.m., and he remains there this morning.

Help! Paintball Gun Stolen at Sports Store

A young man stole a paintball gun from a Columbia County stores, and authorities want your help in identifying him.

These video images from Sept. 17 show the man entering Academy Sports on Washington Road in Evans. The man took a paintball gun into the bathroom, and when he came out, a store employee didn't see the paintgun. The employee checked the bathroom and saw an empty paintgun package.

The worker went outside and tried to approach the suspect, but the young man ran out of the store and was able to elude the worker and authorities.

Anyone with information concerning the suspect's identity is asked to call the Columbia County Sheriff's Office at (706) 541-2800.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

AYDC Employee Charged with Stalking

An employee of the Augusta Youth Detention Center has been charged with stalking his ex-wife.

Patrick Pignotti, 54, of Augusta, was charged last Friday with misdemeanor stalking. (His arrest information and mugshot were released yesterday.)

According to a sheriff's report, the suspect's ex-wife complained that Mr. Pignotti had been sending her harassing emails at her workplace between July 20 and Aug. 12. At least one of the suspect's emails made reference to his ex-wife having an "accident," the report states. The woman said she told Mr. Pignotti to stop contacting her, but he continued.

The man's mugshot shows him with a "Department of Juvenile Justice" logo on his shirt, suggesting he was arrested at work. His position at AYDC was not listed on the report.

We contacted the Richmond County Jail, and they no longer have Mr. Pignotti in custody.

Failure to Register as a Sex Offender

John Phillip Corley, 42, of Williston (above), was arrested by Aiken County authorities on Tuesday for criminal domestic violence. Authorities also discovered he was a sex offender who had failed to properly register.

Mr. Corley, who is 6'3'' and weighs 275 pounds, was convicted in 1993 of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Help North Augusta Police Identify These Suspects

North Augusta public safety officials are requesting the public's help in identifying two forgery suspects shown in the photo above. (Click on the photo to get a better look.)

These suspects are wanted in connection with two check forgeries. They are wanted for forged checks written Sept. 2 at Lowe’s in North Augusta at 8:49 pm and the Bi-Lo in Edgewood Square on the same night.

If anyone has information regarding the identity of these two individuals, please call the North Augusta Department of Public Safety at (803) 279-2121.

Man Dies While Breaking Into Building

A homeless man with a well-document criminal background was found dead this morning, and authorities believe he died while trying to break into a building.

Henry Lee Smith, 56 (shown above in a previous mugshot), was found dead this morning at 1929 Kissingbower Road in Augusta. He was discovered in the back yard of the residence, according to Lt. Scott Peebles.

"Smith appears to have died from lacerations to his right wrist, which appeared to have been caused when Smith was breaking out the window of a small building located in the backyard of the residence," the lieutenant said.

In August, Mr. Smith broke into the same building using the same window and stole a van. He was captured in Atlanta with the van.

"Smith is known to the homeowners to be a drug user and alcoholic who is homeless, but frequents the area," Lt. Peebles said.

Sex Predator at Augusta Festival

We've obtained the mugshot of an Augusta man accused of taking inappropriate pictures of girls at the Arts in the Heart Festival on Saturday.

This is 44-year-old Ryan Lee Church. Festival-goers complained about the man to deputies, who investigated and followed the man. They caught him using a red camera to photograph the backside of a young girl. He was also seen in the front stage area before walking to a family zone.

Mr. Church is a sex offender who has been arrested three times before with sex crimes, according to South Carolina’s Sex Offender Registry. His first conviction came in 2003 for committing a lewd act against a 10-year-old girl in Charleston, SC.

According to the Georgia Sex Offender Registry, Mr. Church moved to Richmond County two months ago. He listed his address as "homeless," a common loophole offenders use to make it hard to track them.

On Saturday, Richmond County authorities arrested him on a charge of failure to register as a sex offender. They listed his actual address as Union Grove Circle in Augusta.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Home Invasion Suspect Arrested in Augusta

The Augusta Chronicle is reporting the arrest of a suspect in the Sept. 9 home invasion on Ridgewood Drive in Augusta. And we've got his mugshot.

Michael Chad Gribanow, 26, of Augusta (above), is accused of forcing his way into an elderly woman's home and demanding money and prescription medication at gunpoint.

He is charged with burglary, armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. Michael has also been connected to a burglary on Sycamore Drive on Aug. 26, according to The Chronicle.

Facial Tattoos

The Jail Report is noticing a trend of more criminal suspects with facial tattoos.

That's the case with 26-year-old Jonathan Hawes, an Augusta man arrested by Aiken public safety officers early this morning for failing to comply with their orders. He has a cross tattoo between his eyes, some words near his right eye and even more on his neck.

We wonder if it hurts to get a tattoo on your face. Hmmmm.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Drunk Driving in the Fast Lane

Columbia County authorities captured a drunk driver who tried to elude police this morning.

According to jail records, 23-year-old James Wright (above) tried to flee when deputies put on their blue lights. He is accused of speeding away and driving recklessly before he was captured. After deputies finally stopped him, they discovered he was drunk.

James was charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving, fleeing or attempting to elude police, speeding in excess of maximum limits and failure to maintain lane.

Violent assault

Aiken public safety officers arrested an Aiken man early this morning in connection with a violent assault.

Mark Jacobs, 35,
was charged with criminal domestic violence of a high & aggravated nature. He remains in the Aiken County Detention Center this morning.

It's not his first time either. The Aiken Department of Public Safety charged Mr. Jacobs with criminal domestic violence in May 2008.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


A Salley man seems to be in a better mood than his last arrest.

Thomas Chaples, 20, was busted last night for grand larceny and shoplifting. He smiled big for the camera when it was time for his mugshot at the Aiken County Detention Center (top photo).

His smile wasn't so bright the last time Salley police put him in handcuffs. In March 2008, he was arrested for discharging a firearm into a dwelling and malicious injury to personal property. In that mugshot (bottom photo), he almost looks mad.

Maybe after his first arrest, he realized the justice system doesn't punish criminals very harshly. So he's smiling this time knowing he won't have to serve much time. Just a thought.

Lewd Act Upon a Child

Aiken public safety officers arrested a Saluda man this morning for a sex crime involving a child.

Bennie Padgett, 65, is charged with lewd act upon a child. He remains in the Aiken County Detention Center this morning.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Lassy's at Large

An Aiken man's been arrested on bad checks and a loose dog.

New Ellenton police arrested 38-year-old Larry Phillips Jr. on Thursday evening and charged him with two counts of fraudulent checks as well as a bench warrant for dog at large.

He remained in the Aiken County Jail this morning.

Look Closely! Help Catch a Copper Thief

The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office is looking to identify an individual who broke into and stole copper wire from the Aiken Electric CO-OP.

On September 1, the man pictured entered the Aiken Electric CO-OP facility by cutting the fence around the yard located at 462 Carolina Bay Trail, Monetta, S.C. and took from the high and low side switching gears and 150 feet of copper wiring. The value to replace and restore service due to the theft is approximately $2,500.

Aiken Electric CO-OP has reported three other incidents similar to the one at the Monetta, S.C. facility, with the method of entry and theft identical to the Monetta incident. Aiken Electric CO-OP estimates that the total damages and repairs to be close to $10,000. Aiken Electric CO-OP states that a break in and theft similar to these incidents, could shut down a substation which would effect thousands of residents in Aiken County.

Anyone with information about the identification of this subject is asked to contact the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office: (800)-922-9709. Individuals also should call Crime Stoppers of the Midlands: (888) CRIME-SC. Callers can remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of between $50 and $1,000.

Driving under the influence

Amber Medlin, 22, of Wagener, has been charged with driving under the influence.

According to jail records, she was arrested by Aiken County sheriff's deputies on Wednesday around 5 p.m.

Amber must have had a bad day to be drunk by the time most people are getting off work.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Teen Shoots Himself After Home Invasion

The Augusta Chronicle reported Wednesday on a suspect who shot himself following a home invasion in Augusta.

We've got the mugshot of Gustave Taylor, 18, of Augusta (top). It's clear the teen's in pain. He was photographed in a hospital gown with two monitors visible through the garment and the side view showing him seated in a wheelchair.

According to The Chronicle, Gustave and 18-year-old Marqueis Demarcus Hall of Augusta (bottom photo) robbed some residents on Leeway Landing on Tuesday night. Later, Gustave shot himself in the thigh while trying to put the weapon back into his waistband. When he called for help and reported being shot by someone else, deputies located the stolen items from the home invasion and arrested Gustave.

The teens are each charged with armed robbery and burglary.

Woman Stabs Neighbor As He Breaks Up Fight

The Augusta Chronicle is reporting that a North Augusta woman was arrested after stabbing a man who was trying to break up a fight between her and a neighbor.

And we've got her mugshot!

Sheka Key, 24, of North Augusta, is charged with assault & battery of a high & aggravated nature.

According to The Chronicle, the suspect began waving a knife in the air Wednesday morning outside her apartment on West Hugh Street. When the victim got between her and the other woman, he was stabbed in the left shoulder.

Gotcha! Arrest in Aiken Murder

An Aiken man was arrested Wednesday night in last week's shooting death of Donald McCalla on Abbeville Avenue.

Freddie Simpkins, 20 (above), is charged with murder, two counts of assault with intent to kill and possession of a pistol during the commission of a crime.

Aiken public safety officials responded to Abbeville Avenue at 8 p.m. on September 8 to investigate a report of gunfire. Soon after, they were called to the emergency room, where Mr. McCalla had been taken. According to Coroner Tim Carlton, the victim died of multiple gunshot wounds to the upper and lower parts of his body.

The suspect was arrested at home and transported to the Aiken County Detention Center, where he remains this morning.

Mr. Simpkins has been arrested before. As a teenager in 2007, he was charged with possession of a bomb, assault & battery by a student and possession of marijuana.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ouch! The Wrong End of Bail Jumping

For a guy who stands 5'-3" and weighs 115 pounds, Marcus Harris put up quite a fight for Richmond County authorities.

The 30-year-old man was wanted for bail jumping and was captured on Tuesday. But according to jail records, he didn't come quietly, fighting with law enforcement officers and lying about who he was. His fight apparently led to some serious facial injuries, from the looks of his mugshot.

Mr. Harris was charged with failure to appear - bail jumping, obstruction of a law enforcement officer and giving false name or address.

Sex Crime Involving Children

Aiken County authorities have charged an Elko man with a sex crime involving a minor.

Derrick Pressey, 39, (above), was arrested Tuesday and charged with two counts of engaging children under 18 for sexual performance. He remains in the Aiken County Jail.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Arrest in Circle K Slaying

Tonight at around 7:30 pm, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office arrested 23-year-old Joseph Andrew Thomas and charged him with last Thursday's murder of Robert Lee Stone Jr. at the Circle K on Gordon Highway.

Mr. Thomas was spotted by investigators on Haynie Drive, but fled when officers approached. While fleeing, he threw a handgun onto the ground. He was apprehended after a short foot pursuit.

  • Mr. Thomas has also been charged with robbing a cable installation man on 2nd Avenue in Augusta, just hours before the murder of Mr. Stone.
  • The suspect is also wanted by the Dekalb County Sheriff’s Office for another robbery in which he shot a victim multiple times on August 20.
  • Mr. Thomas is also wanted by the Gwinett County Sheriff’s Office for armed robbery, pointing a firearm at another and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Mr. Thomas is being held without bond at the Richmond County Jail on charges of murder, 2 counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, 2 counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and armed robbery.

He is also being held for the Dekalb Sheriff’s Office on charges of armed robbery and aggravated assault.

Animal Nuisance Charge

Sharon Abbey, 42, of Warrenville, was charged Monday night with animals creating a nuisance. The Aiken County Sheriff's Office filed the charges against her and she remains incarcerated this afternoon.

Sharon has been in trouble before. She was charged in 2007 with stealing cable. The official name was "use of cable without authorization."

In 1990 and again in 1999, she was charged with contempt of family court, jail records show.

Good Luck Pulling This Guy Over

It's clear from his record, Marion Johnson doesn't like being pulled over by cops.

The 41-year-old man failed to stop for an Aiken public safety officer on Monday morning despite the flashing blue lights. When the officer did pull him over, the officer discovered the driver was drunk and had a suspended license, according to authorities. Plus, he had drug paraphernalia in the vehicle.

Of course, Mr. Johnson wasn't cooperative, jail records allege. He failed to comply with the officer's orders.

The Aiken man has a history of doing things his way. Starting in 1999, he was charged with failing to stop for an officer's blue lights and siren. Again, it may have been because his license was suspended.

Since then, he's been arrested repeatedly in Aiken County on charges of probation violation, failure to stop for law enforcement, driving an uninsured vehicle, failure to assist law enforcement, criminal domestic violence and possession of drug paraphernalia.

We'd hate to be driving on the street with this guy.

Monday, September 14, 2009

ACSO Arrests 3 Georgia Men for Burglary

Press release from the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office:

The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office in coordination with The Aiken Department of Public Safety, and S.L.E.D. arrested three men early this morning for Burglary 1st Degree and being in Possession of a Weapon during the Commission of a Violent Crime, in connection with an Aiken County home invasion.

(Top photo) Jerrick Miguel Thomas-(18) 3840 New Carline Rd. Hephzibah, GA 30815 is charged with Burglary 1st Degree, and Possession of a Weapon during the Commission of a Violent Crime.

(Middle) Detron Deltray Spruill-(18) 2412 Boykin Rd. Augusta, GA. 30909 is charged with Burglary 1st Degree, and Possession of a Weapon during the Commission of a Violent Crime.

(Bottom) Tyquan Marquis Cohen-(18) 4002 Rams Woods Dr., Hephzibah, GA 30815 is charged with Burglary 1st Degree, and Possession of a Weapon during the Commission of a Violent Crime.

At 12:07 a.m., the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from the victim, stating there were three subjects breaking into his residence through the back door of his apartment. Aiken County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and Aiken Department of Public Safety arrived and witnessed three subjects exit the victim’s apartment, with one of the subjects firing a single shot from a hand gun at a Deputy who was located at the rear of the apartment building.

The subjects ran towards an adjacent field where two of the three subjects were challenged by ACSO Deputies, one subject was detained/arrested, identified as the Spruill subject, and found to be in possession of a handgun, with the other subjects running into a field adjacent to the apartment building. The Aiken County Bloodhound Tracking Team, SLED helicopter, and Aiken County Sheriff’s Office Investigators were called to the scene. With in three hours the other two subjects were located and arrested by the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office in coordination with Aiken Department of Public Safety and S.L.E.D.

All three subjects are being held at the Aiken County Detention Center.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Drunk Driving Again

If you think getting your license suspended for driving drunk keeps drunk drivers off the road, let us introduce you to 26-year-old Byron Lee of Jackson.

According to jail records, Byron was arrested Saturday afternoon for drunk driving on Aiken County roadways. And guess what? His license had been suspended for an earlier DUI, leading to an additional charge.

The trooper who pulled him over filed charges of DUI - second offense, driving under suspension for DUI, open container and unsafe tires.

But the Jackson man's no stranger to the Aiken County Jail. He's been arrested at least three previous times. His previous charges include possession of crack cocaine, assault & battery, trespassing and public drunkenness.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Aiken Wal-mart Worker Charged with Stealing TV

The Aiken Standard is reporting that a Wal-mart employee is accused of stealing a $1,000 television from the store where he worked.

Roger Carr, 20, of 997 Osborn Drive in Aiken,
was charged with breach of trust with fraudulent intent.

The Standard
says Mr. Carr stole a Samsung LCD television from the Whiskey Road store. The suspect was reportedly captured on video opening a cargo door, checking the surrounding area, and then running out with the television box.

Pretty Pothead

Julia Johnson, 21, of Warrenville, was arrested late Friday night by Aiken County authorities on a charge of possessing 28 grams or less of marijuana.

The 5-foot, 4-inch beauty remains in the Aiken County Detention Center this morning.