Charges dropped against homeowners arrested for loitering and prowling

COVINGTON -- The Newton County Sheriff's Office is investigating all parties involved in a complaint that resulted in the arrest of a Stone Mountain couple Thursday night.

According to NCSO spokesman First Lt. Mark Mitchell, deputies were called around 9:15 p.m. to 1419 Lower River Road with the report of a burglary in progress.

When deputies arrived they discovered two individuals at the residence who said they had purchased the residence and were changing the locks. Neighbors, who had called in the complaint, alleged the couple was burglarizing the residence.

"Deputies looked into the incident and a determination was made after deputies spoke to all parties involved to arrest the individuals (couple changing the locks) for loitering and prowling." Mitchell said.

Jean Joseph T. Kalonji, 61, and Angelica Kalonji, 56, both of Stone Mountain, were taken to the Newton County Detention Center and later bonded out.

Mitchell said when reports were reviewed the morning following the arrest, a determination was made to look into the matter further.

The Kalonjis, a bi-racial couple, have made complaints against the Sheriff's Office through their attorney. According to several internet blogging sites, the couple said neighbors pointed weapons at them and forced them from their home, but they were the ones who were arrested without cause.

"We're continuing to investigate as to exactly what occurred that evening. The Sheriff's Office will also be conducting an internal investigation," Mitchell said. "As of today, April 23, the warrants against them have been rescinded and the charges have been dropped."

Mitchell said deputies at the scene had reported that the neighbors who called and reported a burglary in progress did have firearms in their possession, but what, if any, action they took against the couple they thought were burglars has not been determined.

"Everything will be thoroughly investigated," Mitchell said, adding that the NCSO Criminal Investigation Division will look into the matter of any crimes that were committed and the NCSO Internal Affairs Division will review the conduct of the deputies.

"If there's a question about something that occurred, we will have our Internal Affairs and Professional Standards Office look into it. We want to stay within the standards that we are required to meet to best serve the community."


dennistay53 3 years, 7 months ago

Hope so. Don't look good for Newton to keep showing up on the Atlanta evening news every night on this same subject. Maybe they need to send a better spokesman out to explain it better so it doesn't keep coming up on Fox 5


billyp66 3 years, 7 months ago

I am glad the neighbors seem concerned, but guns, this was not self defense. I know our police and sheriff's deputies do a fine job, but I really believe maybe they could have investigated a little more. I really hope and pray that this does not end up being a race thing.


KimberlyD 3 years, 7 months ago

Where were their papers where they purchased the home and why were they changing the locks so late at night? I hope they get the money they had to pay to get out of jail refunded back to them, but common sense would tell you to have those kind of items in that situation. Especially on that side of town.


amp72 3 years, 7 months ago

Better yet, why can't these rednecks just call the cops and have them do their jobs? I prefer not to blame the victims.


Southside 3 years, 6 months ago

I do lots of things at my house late at night. If my neighbors are bothered, call the cops. Don't come over with guns


cv1 3 years, 7 months ago

This could so easily have become a "Zimmerman" case right here in Covington. Had the couple panicked and tried to run, they would probably have been shot and Covington would be on the front page of every newspaper in the country. These two gun slingers need to know that they should call 911 if they think a burglary is in progress and not take the law into their own hands. We have a police force to do that. I hope the community will do something to give the new homeowners a proper welcome to Covington and that the father and son team will pay heavily for their vigilante behavior.


citizen7 3 years, 7 months ago

If you think this is any sort of vigilantism, you are an idiot. If we all had neighbors that showed a little concern about what is going on around us then there would be alot less crime and good people could still leave their doors unlocked at night.. Whoever decided to charge the Canoles' need to be held accountable for their lack of judgement. There is no way they are guilty of anything but trying to protect their neighbor's property.


UGAFan 3 years, 7 months ago

While I agree in general with you, you are incorrect in assuming that "they would have probably been shot". That is a ignorant assumption.


citizen7 3 years, 7 months ago

I sent in a post yesterday and see it didn't get posted, apparently because it didn't agree with the opinion you wanted. And you wonder why people think some media is corrupt and will spin things the way you want. I'll just have to go elsewhere. People also have to know how you censor and don't represent true opinion.


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