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Deputies involved in neighbors arrests are disciplined

COVINGTON -- The internal investigation into the behavior of two Newton County Sheriff's Office deputies concerning the arrest of Jean Joseph and Angelica Kalonji for loitering and prowling has been completed, according to a report released by the NCSO Wednesday morning.

Deputies Sgt. Kenneth Kent and Darrell Odum were involved in what was described in the Internal Affairs report as an obvious bad arrest on April 19. Disciplinary action was taken against the two, but their jobs were spared.

The events which spurred the investigation began when deputies were summoned to 1419 Lower River Road with the report of a burglary in progress. The new owners of the home, the Kalonjis, were apparently changing the locks, but the next door neighbors, Robert George Canoles and Branden Ryan Canoles, believed they were burglars and allegedly pointed guns at them and held them until police arrived. The Kalonjis were arrested and charged with loitering and prowling. The next day, however, the charges were dropped and the Canoles were arrested and charged with aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal trespass.

Following Lt. Keith Crum's Internal Affairs initial investigation into the matter on April 24, he suspended both Odum and Kent with pay pending the conclusion of the investigation.

The next step into the behavior of the deputies went to a Displinary Review Board comprised of fellow deputies who recommended that both Odum and Kent be terminated.

Capt. Morris Jones reviewed the entire investigation and based on the complaint filed by the Kalonjis alleging "serious misconduct" and findings of the internal investigation which sustained the allegations, the following decision regarding Odum's and Kent's discipline were made by him on May 3. Both deputies have a right to appeal the decision.

Kent will be demoted from sergeant to deputy with a 5 percent salary reduction; receive a 30-day suspension without pay; his of permission to work any second job in a law enforcement capacity for a year will be revoked; he will lose use of his take home vehicle for a year; will be required to take remedial training in criminal law; and will be immediately transferred from Uniform Patrol to the Detention Division.

Similarly, Odum will take a 5 percent salary reduction; a 30-day suspension without pay; revocation of right to work a second job for a year; loss of take home vehicle for a year; be required to take remedial training in cultural diversity; and will be immediately transferred from the Uniform Patrol Division to the Detention Division.

According to the Internal Affairs investigation, during the call in question, the decision was made by Odum to arrest the Kalonjis and Kent backed him up, despite the fact that the Kalonjis offered to provide proof that they had indeed purchased the home, but said it would take about 45 minutes for their son to arrive with documents. They were told by the deputies they couldn't wait that long. The Kalonjis were booked into the jail on the loitering and prowling charges.

A short time later, the Kalonjis' son arrived with proof that the couple owned the house, but despite that proof, the arrest stood.

"Kent said that he and Odom both had contact with Bruno Kalonji (the couple's son) when he brought in the closing documents," the Internal Affairs report states. "The documents were copied and entered into evidence. Neither Odom nor Kent took any steps to free the Kalonjis when it was obvious that a bad arrest had been made."

Once released on bond, the Kalonjis filed a complaint with the NCSO concerning the arrest, and it was at that point that the Canoles were arrested.

"The Canoles had not been given custody or control over the property by the previous owner, they had not been asked to look after the property, yet they took it upon themselves to take up arms, enter the property, confront the Kalonjis and demand an explanation for their presence," the Internal Affairs report states. "Even after the Kalonjis explained that they had just purchased the property, the Canoles demanded to see documentation from the Kalonjis to 'prove ownership.' The Kalonjis had none so the Canoles ordered them from the home at gunpoint and made the Kalonjis stand with their hands against the wall of their home until law enforcement arrived."

The two sets of neighbors have since reconciled and a public apology was made by the Canoles to the Kalonjis; however, criminal charges against the Canoles are still pending.

Comments

Covingtonian 2 years, 4 months ago

Wow, simply incredulous. These two are fortunate to still have jobs. The decision of their peers to terminate them verifies that. Although Captain Morris tried to show compassion in this matter, these two could cause the county mony in a lawsuit further down the road with such obstinate attitudes in refusing to do the right thing even when it became obvious a mistake was made.

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MeanMrMustard 2 years, 4 months ago

OK, I'm confused...The Covington News reported yesterday that they had been fired: "About a week later the two families met and made peace, but the internal investigation into the actions of the law enforcement officials who first arrived at the scene continued until Wednesday morning when it was announced that two people had been terminated from the NCSO following the investigation." You say, today, they have NOT been fired? Wow... Is somebody behind in their factfinding or is somebody else in error?

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momofone 2 years, 4 months ago

Sounds like someone has some explaining to do. There were initially six officers involved, maybe two of the others were fired?

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conyersgirl 2 years, 4 months ago

moral of the story....NCSO does not want help of citizens in preventing any crime..if you notice someone at vacant or even non-vacant house in your neighborhood - just call police or do nothing at all. if the police dont get out there before whomever leaves & it is found out there was criminal activity well it will be the police's fault now wont it. Because apparantly if you try to keep your neighborhood crime free you will be charged with attempted murder (martin case in fl) or aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal trespass as Canoles were & it would be just stupid to confront potential criminals without a gun. Now even though the Canoles kept them there until deputies arrived they are still being charged even though they did not fire the weapons. Even though both set of neighbors have made amends - the DA has not dropped charges. BUT.... if they had actually held real criminals our NCSO & DA office would be saying what great citizens they were for foiling an attempted break-in. YOU can bet our so called wonderful DA will not drop charges because now its all about money for the county. OH the Canoles can plead down to some lesser charge especially if they have never been in trouble - take some kind of anger management - or self help class program that is in cahoots with the county & be on probation until said classes are finished & then the slate will be wiped clean. I say to the Canoles - file suit against deputies for being too stupid to think. I hope the neighbors keep being neighbors. I myself, if i see a crime well maybe i will blink & it will disappear - because i have a permit & always carry my gun & i sure dont want to go to jail for being a good citizen!!!

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aaaa 2 years, 4 months ago

I certainly hope you are more intelligent than displayed in your comment. When anyone observe something suspicious or illegal, your involvement would be to contact law enforcement. The wrong doing of the concerned neighbors were to hold someone at gun point until law enforcement arrived. Neither you nor does anyone other than law enforcement has a right to do so, even if you have a gun and permit....I hope you understand that. The Martin case has no similarities with this case as Trayvon had every right to be in the neighborhood and was doing nothing illegal.

What is troubling is that someone with such a short view and understanding of principles and laws are impacting others. However, what is obvious is those of us with sound mind understand the law and wrong doing and can easily identify those who doesn't possess the same.

There are consequences for wrong doing. The deputies were rightfully disciplined, the Kalonji's should not have been treated in such a manner and unfornuately the Canoles were rightfully charged as what they did was against the law. I think it is mature of the Canoles to apologize to their new neighbors as they have; however, their actions can not be excused.

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conyersgirl 2 years, 4 months ago

IF YOU CANNOT DETECT MY SARCASM ...TOO BAD - SEEING THAT YOU MISSED MY POINT COMPLETELY UHM JUST 1 QUESTION FOR YOU - IF YOU SAW SOMEONE ONE ASSAULTING A WOMAN OR CHILD WOULD YOU CALL THE POLICE & HOPE THEY GET THERE TO SAVE SAID WOMAN OR CHILD OR WOULD YOU STEP IN & HOLD SAID SICKO CRIMINAL THERE UNTIL POLICE ARRIVE - SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO STEP IN INSTEAD OF SIT ON THE SIDELINES & HOPE IT ALL WORKS OUT BTW I CARRY MY GUN FOR TO PROTECT MYSELF IF NEEDED (HOPEFULLY NOT EVER BUT THIS WORLD HAS GONE NUTS) NOT TO GO AROUND TRYING TO PLAYING DEPUTY DOGOODY.

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HonestAbe 2 years, 4 months ago

2nd amendments rights are for situtions you just named. I know u didn't direct this question at me ,but since you probably won't get a answer from him i will reply. If you see a serious crime happening, and have a way to correct it (a gun) and time is of the essence you owe it to yourself, to the ones getting assulted, as well as the general public to react. That is why the 2nd amendment allows for a strong militia, so you can potect yourselves and others who can't. Yes a deal will probably be made, but if this goes to federal court, maybe with the requirement of an appeal the Canoles probably wins everytime on 2nd amendment rights. The problem is most statwe judges are more concerned about public reaction than they are constitution

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conyersgirl 2 years, 4 months ago

thank you - i am glad there are a few of us out here that understand our rights even through sarcasm.

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Covingtonian 2 years, 4 months ago

Factoid: 1 week 5 days ago amp72 stated these exact words "And the next thing you know we'll have Al Sharpton and the NAACP here! LOL!" this was cut and paste from one of her 140 comments that I mentioned in an earlier post. Obsessed to the point of not remembering what she has stated previously. I'm not taking sides with Zo but let's keep this "about right and wrong". It seems to me that amp72 did bring Race into this, Now I'll just continue to observe.

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Covingtonian 2 years, 4 months ago

Sorry posted on the wrong story, my apologies to all.

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Zo 2 years, 4 months ago

Show us their pictures Newton you showed us Dr. CARPENTER picture. Waiting for the virtual hoods to jump all over these to deputies...waiting.

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