COVINGTON -- The Newton County Sheriff's Office has charged the neighbors who reported a burglary in progress Thursday night at 1419 Lower River Road.
Robert George Canoles, 45, and his son, Branden Ryan Canoles, 18, both of 1399 Lower River Road, turned themselves in and were arrested and charged with aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal trespass in connection with the incident.
"Both individuals brandished weapons as they confronted two individuals who were changing locks at a residence they owned located at 1419 Lower River Road," said NCSO spokesman First Lt. Mark Mitchell.
Charges against homeowners Jean Joseph T. Kalonji, 61, and Angelica Kalonji, 56, who were initially arrested, have been dropped, although the NCSO internal investigation continues.
According to Mitchell, deputies were called about 9:15 p.m. to the Lower River Road home and were told there was 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. The neighboring Canoles, 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, adding that the initial investigation made by deputies at the scene did reveal that the Canoles had weapons, but it was unknown what, if any, action they had taken against the Kalonjis.
In a turnabout, it has since been determined there is enough evidence to charge the Canoles and there are no charges against the Kalonjis.
The Kalonjis 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. "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."