COVINGTON -- A Newton County man was assaulted when he interrupted two burglars at his Pebble Brooke Court home, according to the Newton County Sheriff's Office.
The victim came home around 5 p.m. May 28 and entered his garage through a storage area door where he was confronted by two strange black men.
"One of the men punched him in the head and knocked him to the ground," said NCSO Public Information Officer Cpl. Anthony Washington. "After striking the victim, both males fled the residence through the door of the storage area."
Washington said the man sustained lacerations to his knee and hand.
The home had been ransacked and a laptop computer was taken.
Washington cautioned that the victim in this incident could have been seriously injured and warned residents to be alert when entering their homes.
"When you get home from work, change up your habits," he said. "Instead of always going in the front door, walk around your house and check out back doors or basement doors. That's where burglars will break in. They won't come through the front door."
Washington said these precautions are important so as not to "walk in the door and there the burglars are," as happened in this instance. "There may have been indicators that would have let him know something wasn't right, and he could have called the police before entering."
Washington said if residents ever feel that someone may have broken into their home, they should remain outside and notify law enforcement immediately.
"We'll go in and search that house before allowing residents to go inside," he said, adding that such a precaution has double importance -- safety of the homeowner and preservation of a potential crime scene. "We will know not to contaminate the scene. When you start touching things and moving things around ... maybe push a window back or close a door, you've just put your fingerprints in areas we need to fingerprint."
In other crime news, the Covington Police Department reported that a grandfather was arrested after he caused a disturbance at Georgia Title Pawn on U.S. Highway 278 on Tuesday.
James Landrum, 65, of 30 Melody Lake Court, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and issued a criminal trespass warning for the Highway 278 location in connection with the incident.
According to a CPD incident report, Landrum came to the store and was angry because employees had given his grandson a loan on the title of his vehicle because the grandson allegedly owed the grandfather for the car. Employees explained because the title to the vehicle was in the grandson's name, that transaction was between them and the grandson. The grandfather the left the establishment.
When the grandson came to the store later to make a $100 payment on the loan, the grandfather returned.
" ... Landrum came into the store and locked the door behind him," the incident report states. "They (employees) stated that he had a cane with him and was cursing and yelling at (the grandson) to give him his money. At this time, (the grandson) had placed the $100 payment on the counter. ... Landrum picked up the cash and stated that this money was a good start to the money he was owed ... Landrum then stated that someone was coming to beat up the grandson and he started to beat him (the grandson) with his cane in the abdomen. After a few minutes of cursing, Landrum then left with the money in his pocket ..."
After checking to be sure the grandson was not injured, CPD officers went to Landrum's residence where the man admitted to "losing his temper" and denied striking his grandson with the cane. He said he did not think the money his grandson had placed on the counter belonged to the title store and did not realize it had already been given to the store as a payment, the report states.
He showed officers documents the grandson had signed promising to pay him for the vehicle and the officers gave him information on the civil process.
CPD officers took Landrum back to the store where he returned the money.