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Teen beaten, threatened with gun while walking in neighborhood

COVINGTON — The Newton County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a group of boys who allegedly beat up and pulled a gun on a 17-year-old who was walking in The Ellington Community near the Rockdale County line on Sunday evening.

NCSO deputies were called to a home on Zebulon Place around 7:30 p.m. Sunday where the victim’s mother told them that a group of boys assaulted her son.

“She said her son was walking along Greenway Drive when a truck driving down the street stopped and a group of boys jumped out and began to assault him physically,” said Deputy Cortney Morrison. “While they were assaulting him, one of the males pulled out a gun and pointed it at him and another individual told him to put it away.”

Morrison said the victim recognized one of the suspects from school but did not know the others.

She said the 17-year-old had a cut over one eye and a swollen lip. The NCSO Criminal Investigation Division is investigating this matter and anyone with information is asked to contact the Anonymous Tip Line at the Sheriff’s Office at 678-625-5007 or online at www.newtonsheriffga.org/anonymous_tip.

In other news, NCSO deputies are tracking down leads involved in a car that was set on fire over the weekend.

Deputy Johnnie Bryson was patrolling the area along Ga. Highway 142 near U.S. Highway 278 Sunday when he was flagged down by drivers in two vehicles stopped along the roadway. The drivers told the deputy that a vehicle at a home just down the road was fully engulfed by fire.

The deputy drove to the scene and said he noticed the driver’s side door of the 2004 Ford Focus was open and fire was coming across the front seat area, the report states.

“The fire grew very quickly,” Bryson reported. “As the blaze worked its way through the inside of the vehicle, all windows blew out.”

Bryson said he and another deputy attempted to make it to the residences to help anyone who was inside, but the car was parked in front of the home and the fire continued to intensify, spreading throughout the vehicle and burning tree limbs beside it.

Just about that time, the owner of the vehicle emerged from the neighbor’s home where she had gone to call 911. The victim said she was awakened by a loud boom and when she looked outside, she saw her vehicle was on fire.

She claimed to have known who was responsible, telling deputies that she had received a number of harassing phone calls from this person.

Earlier in the day, the woman also reported a burglary at her home.