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February 22, 2007

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Another semester of crime

January 22, 2007

Welcome back for another semester of crime. I am Jessica your new crime reporter. In the interest of journalism transparency, I felt it was important to disclose my own criminal past before I spend the semester reporting on the rest of the student body’s.

Like many of the criminals out there, I didn’t mean to do anything wrong. A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I thought it was the perfect day to hike. We drove up Hwy. 441 to our favorite hiking spot, Panther Creek. When we arrived, there were tons of cars parked on the side of the road near the entrance. But when we walked up to the trail entrance there was a sign that said, “Trail closed.”

Being the rule-follower type that I am, I turned to my boyfriend and said, “Well, I guess we can’t go hiking today.”

            “You can’t close the woods,” he replied. I hesitated, but after looking around at how many others were hiking I figured it would be harmless. So we ignored the signs and started out on the trail. For the first part of the hike, I kept looking around, expecting a Park Ranger to leap out of the bushes and arrest us. But by the end of the four-hour hike, I had all but forgotten about the signs. That is, until I saw a gentleman in a green uniform sitting near the end of the trail.

            Apparently, they can close the woods. The Ranger happily explained why the trail was closed, while he wrote us each a $125 trespassing ticket. (In case you were wondering, he said the trail was closed for construction. When we told him that we didn’t see anyone working on the trail, he changed the subject.)

            Now that you know about my criminal activity, I feel much better about reporting all of yours. I will be updating this blog several times a week so be sure to check for new developments.  

            And as always, if you would like to report a crime you committed or witnessed, feel free! Or if you just want to comment about the mistakes of others, post away!

 

 – Jessica

 

    jlevine@randb.com

Why?

November 28, 2006

University Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of a man for stealing a wheelchair and stalking a female University student in October,
police said.
Everette Brian Adams of Ramona Road in Athens is being charged with talking and a felony count of theft by taking.
A male visitor told University Police someone stole his wheelchair from Sanford Stadium during a football game versus Mississippi State on Oct.
21.
The man told police he left the wheelchair valued at $500 at Gate 8 with SC personnel, the report said.
The man had difficulty walking but was not paralyzed, Capt. Lisa Boone said.
Adams approached a CSC personnel and told the worker the wheelchair belonged to him, Boone said. When the visitor returned to reclaim his
wheelchair it was gone.
The wheelchair has not been recovered, Boone said.
A female University student told University Police that Adams repeatedly made contact with her between Oct. 17 and Oct. 20 at various locations
around campus. He also called the female from various telephone numbers, Boone said.
The female told police she felt threatened by Adams, the police report said.
- Juanita
jcousins@randb.com

It must really suck to be Chi Phi President Matt Hughes right now. His fraternity brothers have been roasting him over the fire of police, administrators and your’s truly. I really hate to annoy the frat guys by putting them on blast – again. But let’s look at the facts:

Sept. 6 — Seven pledges and a visitor displayed a pornographic magazine featuring black women to passers-by at Tate Plaza, Brumby Hall and in a shopping plaza on Alps Road. The guys photographed the passer-by reactions.

Sept. 14-18 — Our friend Kim Ellis in judicial programs finds the pledges violated the sexual harassment portion of the University’s Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment policy. The fraternity is placed on a two-year probation and given several other sanctions. A new member educator who OKed the prank and the pledges each are given individual probation and sanctions.

Sept. 21 — The Interfraternity Council, which regulates 22 social fraternities, also places five sanctions on Chi Phi.

Oct. 11 — ACC Police arrest Drewry Allen Littlewood, one of pledges who showed porn to passers-by, and charged him with underage possession of alcohol. Littlewood was chasing and shouting at the officer, the police report said, because the officer was arresting his friend.

Oct. 16 — The fraternity hosts an anti-discrimination seminar as ordered by Ellis. They open the doors of the event to the entire University. Yet, the only non-Chi Phi attendees are the speakers from the Office of Legal Affairs, Mama Shamp, and your’s truly.

Nov. 14 — University Police arrest Harris Thomas Culley and Ryan Andrew Thomas when the officer saw the two running from the Baptist Student Union after s window of the window was broken, police said.
Culley, a member of the Tate-porn crew is charged with a felony count of criminal damage to property, underage possession of alcohol and possession of a fake ID.
Thomas, another Chi Phi new member, is charged with underage possession of alcohol and possession of a fake ID.
Hughes kicks Culley out of the fraternity and suspends Thomas.

So what’s your take?

Is The Red & Black picking on the precious frat boys? Or are these delinquents having too much fun at the expense of their fraternity and University’s names? How well has the University handled Chi Phi’s repeated offenses? How long will is be before another Chi Phi member is arrested?

Please post your thoughts.

Look for a hilarious column on the Chi Phi drama from Paul Rehm in Monday’s paper.

- Juanita
jcousins@randb.com

Bonnie and Clyde?

November 16, 2006

University Police issued warrants Wednesday for the arrests of two people sought for a rash of car break-ins.

William Andrew Towe is being charged with 17 felonies and four misdemeanors, including entering auto, financial transaction card theft, theft by deception and theft by receiving.

Julia Maria Towe is being charged with two felonies and one misdemeanor, including theft by receiving and theft by deception.

The Towes are accused of taking nearly $7,000 in merchandise between Oct. 16 and Nov. 13, including:
— $5,275 in golf equipment
— five University parking permits valued at $35 each
— purse and its contents valued at $614
— $300 CD player
— $280 subwoofer
— $250 amplifier
— $80 satellite radio receiver

Cars parked at East Campus parking deck, North Campus parking deck, the Russell Hall parking lot and the Intramural Fields were entered.

ACC Police said they found some of the items in a car belonging to the Towes after executing a search warrant when it was impounded.

Both accused are not University students, and it is unknown if they are related.

The moral of this story: Lock your cars and hide your valuables in the trunk.

— Juanita
jcousins@randb.com

A test of friendship

November 2, 2006

Two University students were arrested early Wednesday after they pulled a Halloween prank by staging an armed robbery at Old Athens Cemetery, police said.

University Police Chief Jimmy Williamson said Richard Gerard Donnellan and Rajesh Chandarkant Joshi used an airsoft gun, a spring powered gun that shoots plastic pellets, to rob people they know of their wallets and cash at the cemetery on Jackson Street.

“Someone thought it would be funny, but they did not think of how serious this would be,” he said.

An acquaintance present called 911 and told the operator that his friends were being robbed at gun point by two men wearing hoods at about 12:24 a.m., said Williamson who has heard a tape of the call.

He said the man believed the prank and sounded scared.

University Police arrived on the scene and discovered that Donnellan and Joshi had staged the incident and were using a fake gun.

Williamson said the students had spray painted black the florescent orange tip of the gun that is used to distinguish that it is not real.

Police arrested Donnellan and Joshi were charged with possession of a weapon on school property. Donnellan was also charged with possession of a fake ID and reckless conduct. Joshi was also charged with disorderly conduct.

The students returned the wallets they took and will not be charged with armed robbery, Williamson said.

“While many may think things are funny, in today’s climate the same thing scares people,” he said.

Williamson said the case is still under investigation, but nine witnesses have given police statements of their accounts.

Airsoft guns can shoot 100 to 550 feet per second and can punchure the skin.

Georgia law has “zero tolerance” for possession of a weapon on or within 1,000 feet of any school-owned property.

This law includes contraptions “designed to propel a missile of any kind.”

The moral of this story was told in my last entry. I’m just trying to figure out if Donnellan and Joshi are truly “friends” with the students they scared in the cemetery that night. Let’s talk about loyalty and trust.

— Juanita
jcousins@randb.com

Say no to guns

October 31, 2006

Two University students were arrested Monday after they shot pellets from a BB gun into Reed Quad, police said.

Whether they were aiming a squirrels or passers by, we may never know.

Dorm graduate assistant Erin Leah Crews told police that between 8:40 and 9 p.m. someone was shooting a BB gun from a Reed Hall window into Reed Quad, the University police report said.

Ken Yangyang Avila told police that he shot the gun, and the weapon belongs to Jimmy Thai Nguyen, the report said.

University Police arrested Avila and Nguyen and charged them with possession of a weapon on school property.

Georgia law has “zero tolerance” for possession of a weapon on or within 1,000 feet of any school-owned property.

Weapons include nun chucks, oriental darts, tasers, knives with blades more than two inches long, explosives, poison gas and contraptions “designed to propel a missile of any kind.”

Please leave your paintball guns at home.

If convicted of this felony charge, Avila and Nguyen could face up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Tough break.

Crews said she could not comment on the incident because of her position at Reed Hall.
Nguyen refused to comment on the incident.

Efforts to reach Avila were unsuccessful Tuesday.

The moral of this story: If you ever get bored, this is what not to do.

- Juanita
jcousins@randb.com

Un-break My Heart

October 23, 2006

A female University student and her visiting friends were assaulted by her ex-boyfriend early Sunday when the man entered her home and pointed a gun at a friend’s head, police said.

The woman was at her South Milledge Avenue home with three friends when William Earl White of 150 Richmond Way arrived at about 4 a.m.

The woman told The Red & Black Monday that White banged on her front door three times before kicking it in.

She said she knew White was upset that she ended their year-long relationship Sunday morning because he had called her cell phone more than 30 times.

A little sour, eh?

He has a history of becoming violent when angry and drunk, she said.

“I know he has pulled a gun on someone before and has been to anger management classes,” she said.

The woman said White pulled a black hand gun, pushed past her and grabbed a visitor.
“I really thought he was going to kill [my friend],” she said.

White pressed the gun to the back of the visitor’s head and forced the man out of the house, she said. He returned inside and yelled at the woman until another friend called the police and drove away in a four-door white car.

Police found White at his Richmond Way home and arrested him. White is being charged with criminal trespass of property, burglary, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

No one was injured Sunday.

White was still in jail Monday afternoon and will have a second bail hearing Wednesday morning, the woman said.

Police estimate $250 in damages done to the woman’s door and molding around the frame.

The moral of this story: Be careful who you date. Perhaps do a background check. And above all, just don’t date the locs.

- Juanita
jcousins@randb.com

University student Maxwell Warren Watson celebrated his 21st birthday Saturday while half naked, by giving it to his friend, police said.

Literally.

University student Andrew Gorman told Athens-Clarke County Police that he and three friends were riding in a taxi to Gumby’s Pizza on Baxter Street when Watson punched Gorman’s nose and climbed over the seat toward him, the police report said.

Gorman held Watson down so that he could not throw any more punches. When the driver dropped the men off at Gumby’s, Watson ran away.

Two University police located Watson no wearing a shirt at Church and Peabody Streets and brought him back to Gumby’s.

Watson told police he was celebrating his 21st birthday and unaware of the altercation in the taxi cab.

ACC Police arrested Watson and charged him with simple battery and public intoxication at about 2:30 a.m.