Newton Sheriff's Office charges neighbors in 'burglary' incident

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."


amp72 3 years, 4 months ago

Heads should roll in the NCSO. This could have easily been handled by responsible, intelligent people but apparently that is in short supply around here Now this is all over the national news and we have narrowly avoided another Zimmerman case. The cops allegedly told the man and his son that they did a good job. A good job of what? Scaring the crap out of two innocent people?


dennistay53 3 years, 4 months ago

W.hat a shame. This could have been so easily avoided. If only the neighbors had only called the sheriff and nothing else. Now you have these two that are only trying to potect their neighborhood from all the burgaries going on in Newton County. If only the owners had their papers where they had purchased the property. If only the law enforcement had taken the time to contact the realtor who sold the property before making the arrests. Now you will have a long drawn out case that will probably cost the taxpayers a lot of money in the end. You have a high power attorney involved for the owners who will keep Newton County negative in the news. You have the neighbors who if smart will go to jury trial with this because there is no way 12 will convict them for what they thought was trying to prevent crime. And there is the possibilty that some good officers who made a mistake may lose their jobs because of pressure from outside sources such as the Atlanta media or Jesse Jackson etc. I see no winners here except for the high ups in the Sheriff office or District Attorneys office who will make decisions to cover or enhance themselves in the national spot light at expense of others. This needs to be turned over to a special prosecutor or panel to avoid much of what i have mentioned. What a shame.


Frustrated 3 years, 4 months ago

We can Monday morning quarterback this thing to death. The reality is it could have and should have been handled differently by EVERYBODY involved. It is a sad situation but we as a county should not and cannot condone vigilanty justice from anyone.


mustardandbiscuit 3 years, 4 months ago

NCSO screwed up ROYALY by arresting the homeowners in the first place, now they're going to sue their uniform pants off, so they try to make it right by arresting the good samaritan neighbors that thought they were protecting their neighborhood?! Wait until THEY sue! Why do they have to arrest anybody? What a bunch of boobs. I blame supervision.


megan3777 3 years, 4 months ago

This seems to be a big screw up on the part of NCSO. A simple call to the realtor who sold the property or having the realtor show up at the property with paperwork would have solved this case. It seems the neighbors were trying to protect their neighborhood, but went about it the wrong way. The call to 911 or the sheriff office would have suffice. I bet the son was only doing what his Dad had told him. The Dad should take the blame.


momofone 3 years, 4 months ago

I have a question, why is everyone blaming the NCSO? Why should they have tried to track down a realtor at 9:15 PM (at night)? The couple should not have gone out to a home (that if you have read other news articles) that their son bought without proper paperwork showing that they owned the home. The neighbors should not have brandished weapons. Why should the NCSO deputies that responded be blamed for doing what they thought was the right course of action at the time? Further investigation would be handled by investigators-not patrol deputies. What if this had been reversed and the couple really were trying to pull a fast one? We can sit and point fingers and place blame all we want, but the fact remains that we were not present and I for one am glad that the NCSO did what they should have done, protect the person and property of the citizens of this county. The father and son duo should be sued in a civil court and prosecuted in a criminal court. The charges were dropped against the homeowners (who remember had no proof of ownership) and that should be the end of the story. Society needs to quit blaming others for their own ignorance and stop trying to sue the people who are doing their jobs.


dennistay53 3 years, 4 months ago

Come on- You don't handcuff people, get warrants, take their pictures and lock them up unless you are pretty sure they have broke the law. You get the investigator or sheriff out of bed at 9:15 0r 3:15am whatever it takes to investigate before you ruin someone's life and put the taxpayers at this kind of risk from a law suit. I can't believe that if Ezell Brown had been contacted that he would have let this happen. Ezell is to smart of a person. It's not us posting you need to worry about, it"s the outside sources at this point.


RobertLee 3 years, 4 months ago

No, this incident is ENTIRELY the fault of the Deputy Sheriff that responded and no one else. For the past few years I have been concerned with NCSD cutbacks and reduced pay that that the caliber of applicants for deputies is at the BOTTOM of the barrel. This is a perfect example of poor decision ability by the deputy that responded.

And furthermore, the Canoles next door would have been HEROES if the situation had actually been a burglary. With all the crime here in South Newton, I wish I had neighbors watching my place like the Canoles. I would certainly feel safer. The Canoles and Kalonji's should make up, join forces, and be poster advocates for more qualified deputies.

With the kind of deputies we have in Newton County, who needs criminals?


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