COVINGTON -- The Newton County Sheriff's Office has arrested three men and two teens, charging them with violation of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act in connection with an alleged attempted robbery.
According to NCSO spokesman Lt. Keith Crum, the incident involving the young men occurred between 9 and 10:30 Sunday night at the Sommerset apartment complex off Salem Road, near the Rockdale/Newton line.
"The two victims drove into the complex to see a girl, got out of the car and were approaching where the girl lived when several black males came out of woods and jumped them," Crum said.
A physical altercation ensued, but the victims were able to run away, Crum said, adding that robbery was the apparent motive in the attack.
The victims were able to give deputies a description of their attackers as well as their car and they were shortly arrested, Crum said.
He said that statements from witnesses, victims and items recovered from the suspects' vehicle, including a firearm and ammunition, led investigators to believe that the five are members of a gang.
Arrested and charged with street gang terrorism, loitering and prowling and simple battery were two juvenile offenders ages 15 and 16, and Romeo Anthony Clayton, 21, of 5178 Hartsook Drive; Robert Renard Brown III, 22, 5178 Hartsook Drive; and Parrish Reshid Jenkins, 22, 3203 Mote Road.
In other crime news, a strong arm robbery occurred at Flash Foods on Salem Road Saturday around 1 a.m.
Crum said a customer came into the store and attempted to pay for her purchase with a $100 bill. The clerk didn't have change and placed the bill on the counter in front of the customer while she went to the back to see if she had enough bills for change there.
"There was a black male standing in back of the victim. He reached around her, grabbed the money and took off running," Crum said.
The man is described as a young black man in his 20s, with low cut hair, wearing a dark-colored hoodie with a long gray shirt underneath, light-colored jeans.
"He possibly left the scene in an older model maroon Chevrolet Blazer," Crum said.
Crum said that anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Investigator Jason Griffin at 678-625-1463. Tips can be given to the NCSO anonymously at 678-625-5007 or through their Web at www.newtonsheriffga.
org and clicking on "anonymous tips." Those who want a response from NCSO personnel should leave contact information.
Also, multiple arrests were made in an aborted robbery at a residence at 10691 Flat Shoals Road Monday night between 9 and 11 p.m.
"The victim stated he was invited over to the house for a party and when he arrived, he was met by the suspects. They all went to the back yard and when they got there, they began striking him and they forcibly removed money from his pockets," Crum said.
He said the man was able to get away from the suspects and get back to his car.
"As he was trying to leave, one of the suspect's busted out the window of his vehicle," Crum said.
When deputies arrived at the scene a female by the name of Ashli Nichol Holt, 20, met them and told them the suspects were not in the house. That proved untrue and she was arrested and charged with obstruction of officers.
"One of the subjects ran from the back of the house and was caught; two were found hiding in the attic; and another was found in a bedroom," Crum said.
Other arrests and charges included Justin Black Hall, 28, of 40691 Flat Shoals Road, charged with battery and obstruction of an officer; Brian Christopher Whitmire, 29, 1358 McDaniel Mill Road, Conyers, charged with strong arm robbery, obstruction and terroristic threats and acts; Michael Blake Hall, 20, 267 Lynn Drive, obstruction of an officer and battery; and Ronald Eugene Ivey, 24, 3491 Miller Bottom Road, Loganville, charged with obstruction of an officer, battery and criminal trespass.