COVINGTON -- A Newton County subdivision located off Salem Road was the target of widespread vandalism over the weekend.
Multiple homes and automobiles in Whispering Pine subdivision were sprayed with black paint. Residents awoke Saturday morning to find the damage and at least 15 complainants began notifying the Newton County Sheriff's Office.
"It appears to be general vandalism," said NCSO Public Information Officer Deputy Courtney Morrison. "If it was gang-related, there would be tagging of that gang or markings or symbols of the gang. It doesn't look like that."
In one instance the Star of David was painted on a garage door and in another, parts of the male and female anatomy were painted on a garage door. The word "b----" was painted on the entrance sign to the subdivision, but generally the vandalism was limited to painting with black paint. Vehicles, street signs and mailboxes were all damaged.
Morrison said the NCSO Criminal
Investigations Department is investigating the matter and is asking that anyone who may have information about the vandalism to call.
"If you call, you can remain anonymous and you don't have to speak with an officer," Morrison said.
In the meantime, she urged residents to notify the NCSO immediately if they see anything in the neighborhood they think is suspicious.
"Anything at all, give us a call. That will get us to the area," she said. "Don't hesitate. If it's something they want us to check out, don't hesitate to call 911."
Anyone with information on this incident can call the NCSO directly at 678-625-1400 or tips can be given to the NCSO anonymously at 678-625-5007 or through its website at www.newtonsheriffga.org and clicking on "anonymous tips." Those who want a response from NCSO personnel should leave contact information.
In other crime news, a woman was arrested and charged with terroristic acts and threats in connection with an incident involving children who were allegedly trespassing on her property.
Lykeshaw Lashan Smith, 35, of 330 Mountainview Drive, was arrested Saturday about 8 p.m. after reports came in to the NCSO "that several people were on location getting ready to fist fight," according to an incident report.
The report states that neighbors agreed that the primary aggressor was Smith, who was outside yelling at kids in the roadway across from her residence. The witnesses stated Smith had a hammer in her hand and was calling the kids vulgar and racially charged names.
When deputies confronted the woman, she told them she had been having problems with neighborhood kids since December. She admitted "she did walk to the end of her driveway with a hammer and told the kids that she would bust their (expletive) heads in one by one. She stated she told the kids to step foot in her yard and see what she would do," according to the incident report.
Also, NCSO investigators are looking into allegations that a sexual battery incident took place between two young girls at Oak Hill Elementary School sometime in mid-May.
Morrison said the grandmother of a 10-year-old went to the school on May 17 to report the incident that allegedly occurred sometime during the week of May 9 through 13.
"She said her granddaughter was inappropriately touched by an 11-year-old while in the bathroom at school," Morrison said. "The complainant stated on May 16 she overheard an inappropriate phone conversation between her granddaughter and the girl, which is how she learned about the incident."
The NCSO is investigating the complaint.
"As soon as the grandmother brought it to the school's attention, we were notified," Morrison said.
The Newton County School System is also looking into the matter.
"We are aware of the allegations and an investigation is currently under way. At this time no additional information can be released," said NCSS Director of Public Relations Sherri Davis-Viniard.